Hurricanes and tropical storms bring a lot of intense, heavy rain and winds that can create severe damage, as well as knock out power and block roads. People with certain health problems, like people that require specific medication, need to have a secure and safety plan in check in case of emergency. Here are some tips on how you can keep yourself and your family healthy and safe before, during, and after a hurricane or storm.
Preparing before a storm
Once people find out that a typhoon is heading their way, they need to be prepared for what will happen next. Here is a storm-ready checklist:
Know every evacuation route in the area – Make sure to know all the evacuation route or have a written plan. The National Weather Service or NWS suggests that people need to have plans of action mapped out or written in case they are pressed for time.
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Create home safety kits – According to the Department of Homeland Security, people need to have:
- A can opener
- Pliers or wrench
- Local map
- Phone charger
- Garbage bags
- Duct tape
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food good for three to five days
- Battery-powered transistor radio with extra batteries
- Enough water for every person inside the house, at least one gallon per person a day
Make sure that the safety kit can be located easily, most probably in the kitchen counter or on top of the coffee table.
Ensure that the safety room is correctly set up – Make sure that there is one room in the house that has fresh water, flashlights, non-perishable foods, towels, gloves, trash bags, pet’s food, cleaning mask, and other essential items and necessities. With everything in check, finding what people need during these events, as well as cleaning up after the storm, will be a lot easier.
Make sure to know the location you are living in
According to the National Weather Service or NWS, homeowners need to know their zone. If they are living near a dangerous area or structure like the ocean or a dam, listen to any safety instruction from local news, as well as the local officials.
Prepare the necessary medications
If you are taking certain medications, make sure that you know how to store them in case of a power outage safely. Conventional medicines and treatments like insulin and amoxicillin can be stored in sandwich bags or place it in an ice cooler so they can remain cold. Also, make sure that the medicines will not get wet. If people are evacuating, take every drug that you can get your hands on.
Remember that some medicines are susceptible to temperature and will lose potency if they are not refrigerated. If the medicines do touch the water, whether it is temperature-sensitive or not, you will want to replace the medicine when you can and do not take pills that touches the water. Before you start preparing, make sure to know the common types of storms, visit http://www.stormdamagecenter.org/common-storm-types to find out more.
Take out as much cash as possible and fill up the gas tank
According to National Weather Service, people need to keep hard cash on them at all times and make sure that they have a full tank gas in case of emergency or evacuation. Safety is always important, and people might not be able to purchase gas during this kind of crisis, let alone use credit cards when the power is out.
What to do after the hurricane or typhoon
Be careful when heading outside or returning home for the first time after a strong storm. There might be mold growth if there is moisture in the house, debris can also be very dangerous, and broken electrical or power lines touching the water can be deadly and dangerous. Listed below are some things people need to watch out for:
Generator fumes are hazardous – stay clear of them – Getting close to the generator can cause people to inhale dangerous fumes that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Stay at least fifteen feet away from these devices; even fifteen feet is too close. Be aware of the distance from the generator.
Drinking water from the tap can be dangerous – Until local officials have tested the water in the area, water might not be safe to drink. Go back to the water supply and food in your safe room to avoid getting sick. If natural disasters affect the water supply, you should know that dirty water can cause outbreaks of Hepatitis A, Salmonella, E. coli, or Norovirus. If necessary, boil the tap water for three to five minutes to kill the bacteria.