Healthy Advice for Hurricane Preparedness
Hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and while most people focus on preparing their homes, you also need to protect your health to ensure that you stay well if you weather a storm. Hurricanes are a prime time for injuries and illnesses, which is why you must be ready to handle any health-related issues at home, as well as know when to seek out professional medical treatment. MD Now shows that it cares about the community by extending its hours to handle hurricane-related injuries. Before a storm strikes, centers stay open as late as possible because injuries often occur as people are preparing their homes. After the storm passes, centers re-open as fast as they can, even if some of them need to run on a generator. And just as you stock up on extra supplies for the storm, MD Now makes sure to have plenty of general medication available and orders additional tetanus shots to treat the many illnesses and injuries that can occur both before and after a hurricane. All that matters is helping everyone in every way possible.
“MD Now wants to help you stay safe during a storm,” says Peter Lamelas, M.D., CEO of MD Now Urgent Care. “Here are some useful tips to show you how to prepare for a hurricane and ways to deal with emergencies.”
Stock Up on Supplies
In case a storm strikes, you want to be ready to handle any situation or emergency. Start by putting together a basic emergency supply kit and make sure that everyone in your home knows where to find it. Remember, hurricanes usually strike and pass quickly, but the damage to the area can cause streets and stores to be closed for days or longer. This can affect your ability to access food, water, and other supplies after the storm. While you should stock up on the following basics, it’s always wise to get extra supplies since it may be difficult to replenish your stock. Your kit should include the following items:
- First aid kit with basic over-the-counter drugs
- A full supply of prescription medication, especially if you take medication for blood pressure, heart issues, and other serious conditions
- At least a three-day supply of water, with approximately one gallon per person and pet per day
- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, crackers, granola bars, etc.
- Manual can opener
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Battery-operated or hand-crank portable radio with extra batteries
- Small tool kit
- Cell phone with chargers
- Any necessary personal hygiene items
- Pet food and supplies
- Extra cash
Know the Risks of Getting Ready
Preparing for a hurricane often includes risky activities like putting up storm shutters, climbing on ladders, lifting heavy supplies, and handling dangerous electrical equipment. All of these efforts greatly increase your risk of injury. This is why MD Now centers stock up on extra general medication and treatment supplies, as well as stay open as late as possible before a hurricane. It is all to ensure that you can access the medical care you need for any injuries you may suffer as you prepare for the storm.
Don’t Wait to Start Wound Healing
Some of the most common injuries suffered in storms are lacerations. These are puncture wounds that occur when the skin, soft tissue, or muscle is torn by a sharp object. Fortunately, minor lacerations can be easily treated at home with the following first aid steps. First, wash your hands with soap and water to avoid further infection, yet try not to touch the actual wound during treatment. After bleeding has stopped, rinse the wound with clean water or a saline solution. Carefully clean around the wound with soap and water, and then gently dry the area and apply an adhesive bandage. If you are unable to clean the wound, leave it open to avoiding trapping bacteria and causing infection. More serious lacerations are more prone to infection and require emergency medical care, which you can quickly find at an MD Now Urgent Care center. Since hospitals are overcrowded during hurricanes, MD Now is your best bet for fast and friendly treatment.
Be Aware of the Many Hazards After the Hurricane
If you think that you’re safe after the storm passes, think again. There is a very high risk for injury following storms as you deal with the dangerous aftermath. As you clean up debris, you raise your risk of wounds, muscle strain, slips and falls, and more. Power outages lead to generator use and present the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if not used correctly. Remember, never use portable generators indoors or in the garage, but rather place them outside and well away from windows, doors, vents, and any other openings to ensure that their gases stay far away from your family. The loss of power also means little or no refrigeration, so your chance of food-borne illness rises dramatically. This can cause food poisoning and diarrhea, so be sure to stock up on non-perishable foods and throw away any items that you think may have spoiled. Outside your home, high winds may have made traffic signals non-operational, left storm debris all over the roads, and caused power lines to fall onto streets. All of these factors make driving very dangerous, so stay off the roads until they are cleared and safe to avoid any accidents. And stay far away from standing water since it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes that can infect you with mosquito-borne illnesses, which can be dangerous and even deadly.
“At MD Now, we realize that no matter how well you prepare or protect yourself, injuries and illness are bound to happen during hurricanes,” cautions Dr. Lamelas. “That’s why our centers go above and beyond to bring you the medical treatment you urgently need both before and after a storm.”
With hurricane season in full swing, you need to be fully prepared to handle a storm that comes your way. If hurricanes leave you in need of care, MD Now Urgent Care centers are conveniently open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to treat you when help is hard to find. For the South Florida locations nearest you, visit https://www.mymdnow.com/locations/.
To learn more about our urgent care centers, call 888-MDNow-911 or visit www.MDNow.com.
MD Now® Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Centers is the leading provider of fast and affordable urgent care to adults and children in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Our state-of-the-art, walk-in medical centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to deliver an affordable and convenient alternative to long emergency room wait times and the limited hours of family physicians. No appointment is necessary and major insurance plans are accepted. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of urgent care services to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, our multiple locations offer digital x-rays, EKG, lab testing, physicals, immunizations, vaccines, physical therapy, occupational medicine, travel medicine and selected primary care services. Discover medical care that treats you to the care you need now at MD Now. Call: 888-MDNow-911, online: www.MDNow.com.