The National Weather Service encourages everyone to help spread the word about Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 5-11.
The marketing campaign starts off by reminding everyone that it only takes one storm to change your life and community.
Great tips are available directly from the www.weather.gov website, following the hurricane preparedness links. The entire week is dedicated to focusing on one step each day of the week.
First, it is recommended that everyone determine your risk – for instance, what types of wind and water hazards could happen near your home? Identifying the risks will help you better prepare and know how to handle them.
The rest of the daily steps include; developing an evacuation plan, assembling disaster supplies, getting an insurance check-up, strengthening your home, helping your neighbor, and completing a written plan. Once you have gone through those steps, it’s probably a good idea to make sure your entire family is aware of the plan.
Most residents around this area still have vivid memories of the most recent impactful hurricane that affected the Chambers County area; Hurricane Ike in 2008. Chambers Health further urges you to follow recommended standards to prepare for such emergencies.
We are doing our part to make sure we are here for you moments leading up to the storm, then immediately after a storm passes. The organization’s Safety Committee is tasked with planning and preparing a “Disaster Crew” and ensuring that adequate medical supplies are kept in stock across all facilities, along with testing of generators and other equipment.
Should you evacuate a loved one, we highly recommend that arrangements be made to coordinate oxygen or other durable medical equipment services, in addition to ensuring a good supply of medications. Medication prescriptions should be kept filled and prescription refill orders should also be kept current during the hurricane season.
Most medical facilities now offer access to a patient portal, which houses your medical record and basic information. If you use either Chambers Health facility, you should have access to this information but if you need assistance, feel free to reach out to us to ensure your record is accessible before an evacuation.
Some of the other medical needs that we may not think about include; Medic-alert tags/bracelets, contact lenses and solution, diabetic supplies including extra syringes, etc.
The Federal Drug Administration offers emergency consumer tips at www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm064572.htm (consumer tips and information include food safety, keeping your pets safe, drug safety, and a section on medical devices).
The Centers for Disease Control also provide several tips to keep you safe after a disaster at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/cleanup/facts.html. For additional information, reach out to your local Emergency Management office.
Nellie Lunsford is Director of Compliance and Education at Chambers Health.