Being a state exposed to frequent hurricanes, people living in Florida, apart from other high-risk places, are commonly affected by climate emergencies. In addition to bad weather, strong winds, and stormy rains, there exists a risk of hurricanes almost once every three years. Although these hurricanes influence everyone living in their perimeter, people likely to be most affected are those who are diseased or elderly. Therefore, there is a need to properly prepare them for a hurricane in a way that no essential medicine or medical accessory is missing at the time of need. In this article, the important items to be kept in a hurricane preparedness kit have been summarized.
Importance of Medical Supplies in Hurricane Preparedness Kit
While packing for a hurricane, focus is usually given to food supplies, water, sanitary products, and items needed to help stay for longer in case of power cuts such as battery-operated power supplies, flashlights, candles, etc.
Moreover, first-aid kits are also prepared to deal with minor emergencies which may include bandages and painkillers. However, multiple necessary medical supplies are often overlooked during this process.
The reason can be that while preparing for a hurricane, significant importance is not given to the fact that one might need to spend plenty of time approaching a pharmacy or a healthcare facility is not a possibility. Therefore, one should always have sufficient medical supplies in a hurricane preparedness kit.
Must-Have Medical Supplies in a Hurricane Kit
A hurricane kit should be prepared while keeping in mind one’s basic medical needs. If a person needs special medical care, different kinds of medical supplies will be required for their health management.
However, as a general rule, a first-aid kit is recommended for everyone. The following two categories provide comprehensive information about preparing a first-aid kit as well as managing supplies for chronic condition management:
Some of the items necessary in a first-aid kit include:
· Vital medications:
Ideally, a 7-day supply of all the essential medications as well as important medical supplies is suitable to have in your hurricane preparedness kit. Each medication should be in its original packaging. Moreover, non-prescription drugs such as painkillers, antacids, laxatives, as well as anti-diarrhea medications should also be included in the hurricane kit.
To deal with minor cuts and wounds, sterile adhesive bandages of different sizes should also be kept in a first-aid kit. 2-inch and 3-inch sterile roller bandages as well as triangular bandages are also essential. Along with bandages, sterile gauze pads of 2-inch and 4-inch lengths are also necessary to have.
· Latex gloves:
At least 2 pairs of latex gloves should also be kept in the kit.
· Antiseptic preparations:
Antiseptic and antibiotic ointments or creams are also necessary to cover skin injuries.
Lubricants such as petroleum jelly are applied to the skin to reduce abrasive damage and manage skin dryness.
· Cleansing agents:
Cleansing agents such as soaps and moistened towelettes should also be kept in the first-aid kit as a hygienic measure.
· Alcohol-based wipes:
Alcohol-based wipes are also needed to clean hands or wounded skin before applying a bandage. These help keep the skin germ-free and reduce the chances of infections.
Chronic Condition Management
Medical supplies needed for the management of chronic health-related conditions include:
Individuals who have impaired vision and need spectacles or lenses should always pack an extra pair of glasses with them. During hurricanes, power cuts become common. Therefore, to be able to see properly in the dark, a visual aid is necessary. This also reduces the chances of acquiring an injury after being hurt by something at home.
· Hearing aid:
People who usually use hearing aids should pack them in their hurricane kit as well so that they are able to listen clearly and understand the instructions being given to them while being in an emergency shelter.
Extra batteries or wireless charging devices should also be kept for medical devices such as B.P. apparatus.
· Mobility aid:
Canes, walkers, wheelchairs, or other mobility equipment are essentially needed for patients who have mobility issues or are elderly.
All of the above-mentioned items, along with other medical supplies, can be purchased from Health Supply 770 at the most affordable prices. Furthermore, the prices are even lower during the weekly deals they offer on certain items. Do check them out for stocking up on some essential supplies.
Special Considerations for Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare facilities are the centers that need to be active not only during a hurricane but also right after it as, in the worst case, multiple individuals need medical assistance afterward.
Therefore, hospitals, laboratories, and other healthcare facilities should always keep necessary medical supplies in bulk.
Moreover, emphasis should also be given to having backup power solutions to continue the scheduled medical procedures during the hurricane which cannot be delayed.
How to Store Medical Supplies Safely?
For proper storage of medical supplies, it is necessary to keep these items away from high temperatures. Moreover, a highly humid environment also decreases the shelf-life of several items. Therefore, care should be taken to store medical supplies in a cool and dry place. Proper records should be maintained regarding the number of each item, its storage temperature, and humidity condition. Labels should be applied to the storage containers/drawers to identify items easily when needed.
A hurricane preparedness kit is an assemblage of necessary supplies that are needed to survive the climate emergency. It includes food, water, and other essential items in it. However, for the management of health-related conditions, different sorts of medical supplies should also be included in the hurricane kit.
These include important medications as well as first aid supplies. Moreover, mobility or hearing aid is also necessary for some patients. Preparing a hurricane kit is essential but one can modify its contents based on their individual needs. Make sure to take some time to prepare your hurricane preparedness kit and stock it up with good-quality medical supplies as well.