So you’ve stocked up on canned goods, dug out the flashlights, and stockpiled bottled water in the garage. Yes, hurricane season is here, and you’ve prepared your home for storms. But most of us overlook our health in our hurricane preparations. In a few simple steps, it’s easy to protect the health of your family during a hurricane.
Stock the Pantry Right
Many prepackaged foods are high in fat or sodium, and it can be tempting to pick up items like cookies and chips for the hurricane food supply. But these foods have little nutritional value and can leave you feeling tired—and don’t help your body get the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Instead, use the following tips to make your hurricane-friendly grocery list:
- Look for items that contain protein, such as canned chicken or tuna. Beans are also a great source of protein. Go for the “lower sodium” options whenever possible.
- Try to go for foods that your family already eats, rather than buying whatever canned goods happen to be on sale.
- Whenever possible, opt for whole wheat items. Bread can make an easy snack, and wheat bread has much more nutritional value.
- Canned fruit in light syrup is a great option for satisfying a sweet tooth.
Get Medical Supplies Ready
Even people in perfect health should think about potential medical needs during severe weather. Most stores won’t be open for buying last-minute supplies, and hospitals are set up to handle patients who have the most serious medical needs during a storm.
- Check your first aid kit, and put together an extra for the car. Be sure that it has plenty of bandages, antiseptic wipes, over-the-counter pain medication, and other basics.
- If you’re diabetic, stock up on all the supplies you’ll need. Note that insulin doesn’t have to stay refrigerated, but it’s important to check for clumps and keep it from getting too hot. Talk to your doctor about the best way to prepare for a hurricane.
- Get an extra supply of any prescription medications, along with a copy of the prescription.
- If you have special medical needs and may need to evacuate your home during a storm, make shelter arrangements early. Residents of Pasco County can find evacuation and shelter information here. Hernando County residents can find information here.
- Obtain an ICE card for each member of the family. These cards assist medical personnel in making the best decisions about medical care—and can help in notifying family members of a medical emergency.
- Designate an out-of-state family member as a contact person. That way if family members are separated, there is still a common point of contact who will be unaffected by the storm.
For more information about protecting your health during a hurricane, please contact us at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Call Consult-a-Nurse® at 727-869-5498 for answers to your questions or information on getting your free ICE card.