Emergency Preparedness

July 16th, 2019

This past week in the US, we have had catastrophic flooding and tropical storms in the Louisiana area and a blackout in NYC.  These unplanned events can have a devastating impact on people and their health.  We all need to be prepared at all times so we can stay healthy during these times.

  • Make sure you have enough medications for you and your family’s chronic conditions (e.g. insulin for diabetics) to last for the the next 7 days
  • If a medication requires cold storage, make sure to freeze some ice packs that you can place in a cooler.
  • Collect clean tap water in pots and pans that you can use for drinking should the municipal water system be contaminated by the storm surge/runoff. Continue to drink only boiled water after the storm if needed.
  • Make a list of your medical conditions, names of all medications and doses.  If you need to evacuate or need to go to a hospital for an injury, this information is important.  If you have a heart condition, you should have a copy of your latest EKG (electrocardiogram).  Keep these papers in a plastic waterproof sealable bag.
  • Print out a list of phone numbers of family and friends.  If you lose power, you may not be able to recharge your phone and access those numbers.  This is especially important if you need to evacuate.
  • Create a small bag filled with water, food (granola bars, nuts, etc), some cash and clean clothes should you need to evacuate.  (remember, you may not  be able to use ATM’s if the power goes out)
  • Check on elderly relatives and neighbors.  Elderly people are most vulnerable to dehydration.  Make sure they have plenty of bottled water available.
  • Write down phone numbers of all your friends and relatives.  In this day and age, few of us keep these numbers anywhere else outside of our cell phones.  Imagine if your cell phone runs out of power or if it gets damaged, you may not have a way of contacting your loved ones.
  • First aid kit.  Have it accessible at all times.  Fallen trees and flying debris can cause wounds that need immediate attention.
  • Clear any clutter on the floors.  If there is no electricity and it is dark, you have a chance of tripping on objects.
  • Stock up on food that does not require refrigeration, such as soy milk, granola bars, cereal, and bottled juices.
  • Avoid going outside, even if you think the storm has passed.  Be careful, downed power lines and falling tree branches can very dangerous.