Tips for Managing Medications During a Hurricane

Keep your medications and health in check during a hurricane with these tips.

The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1. Use this year's Hurricane Preparedness Week to get all of your preparations together, especially with your family's medications, before any storms start brewing in the ocean.

Pack it.
Since the effects of a hurricane can lead to treacherous travel, disrupted service from businesses or even evacuation, it is crucial to have extra doses of your medication on hand. In preparation for hurricane season, your family should assemble a disaster supply kit filled with necessities including food, water and medication. According to the American Red Cross, your disaster supply kit should contain a 7-day supply of medications as well as other medical supplies your family members require:

  • Catheters
  • Syringes
  • Hearing aids with extra batteries
  • Eye glasses
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Mobility aids like canes or walkers

List it.
If you are forced to evacuate, having important documents such as your driver's license, insurance polices and property inventories could be crucial in the event you are displaced for a long period of time. FEMA also suggests you carry copies of the following medical documents:

  • Medication list with names, dosage and indications
  • Doctor's orders
  • Style and serial numbers for any medical support devices

Check it.
Should you stick it out as the hurricane passes through, beware of the effects of the storm on your medical items. Use the following guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • Drugs contaminated by flood or unclean municipal water should be discarded. However, in the case of life-saving medications being needed quickly; if the container is contaminated but the contents appear to be fine, then the drugs can be used.
  • Medications that need to be reconstituted with water should only be administered if they are reconstituted with bottled or purified water.
  • Medications requiring refrigeration, like insulin, should be thrown out following a long-term power outage. However, if the medication is needed to sustain life, use it until a new supply is secured.

To find more information on keeping you family safe and healthy in the event of a natural disaster, visit our Disaster Preparedness Center online at Oak Hill Hospital. If you have any other questions, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120.

Related Posts:
Hurricane Season is Here, Are You Ready?
First Aid Checklist for Parents

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