Disaster Preparedness and Recovery News: With the start of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Humana Inc. encourages people to take steps now that will help ensure they can maintain good health in the event of severe weather or an evacuation.
“Hurricanes, particularly in the event of a coastal evacuation, pose a higher risk to seniors and residents with chronic health conditions,” said Humana South Florida Medicare Medical Director Dr. Louis Fernandez. “There are simple things that seniors and their families can do ahead of the severe weather to ensure their health isn’t jeopardized by a disaster.”
Here are seven severe weather emergency preparedness tips from Humana:
- Pay special attention to weather forecasts and take evacuation orders seriously.
- Power could be disrupted for extended periods of time. Anyone dependent on oxygen should ask a family member or caregiver to contact the oxygen provider about the best way to prepare for this scenario.
- Use technology to make keeping track of important documents easier and more secure. Take photos of insurance cards, identification cards and prescription providers and store in your phone. Add important health-related phone numbers like doctors, pharmacy, health insurance information, so that you and your family can stay in touch with your doctors and pharmacies even if you’re away from home for an extended period. Be sure to forward those key health care and medical contacts to a family member who lives out of the area.
- Take advantage of 30- to 90-day prescription home delivery service from your health benefits provider to ensure you don’t run out of medicine while you are away or while businesses are closed. Mail-order pharmacy also often provides a cost savings for consumers.
- Make lists: it’s easy to forget things in an emergency, and that includes a list for you and anyone that will be dependent on you for help (children, family members, seniors). Include any durable medical equipment, C-PAP masks, and other medical necessities like walkers and hearing aids, along with flashlights with extra batteries, plus at least two weeks’ supply of medicines.
- Put together your family emergency kit now! An emergency kit should include water; non-perishable food; first aid kit; whistle; dust mask; hand wipes or hand sanitizers; manual can opener; and local maps. If you have to evacuate ahead of a hurricane or major storm, be sure to pack healthy snacks, such as fruit.
- Don’t neglect your mental and emotional health. If you experience stress or depression after a hurricane, seek professional help right away to address the issues.
Those at much higher risk of being affected or displaced by severe weather include seniors and residents with serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and those who regularly take prescription medications.
Residents and caregivers should have an emergency bag packed, and also help make sure other dependent family members are also ready for this year’s storm season.
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