Start preparing for the hurricane season
In a few days’ time, on June 1, the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season will start. It is predicted that this year’s hurricane season will be similar to that of recent year in terms of the number of predicted storms and the intensity of these storms.
During a hurricane or any other natural disaster, lives are at risk. People struggle to prevent deaths and injuries and take measures to stay alive. Preparation is an important strategy to ensure that all the necessary mechanisms are put into place in the event that these disasters do happen.
Just like you would put in place measures to protect your home and your valuables, you must also put measures in place to protect your health. Your life is your most valuable commodity and so adequate preparation must be put in place to safeguard your health in the event of these natural disasters.
Persons who are ill, suffer from chronic diseases and other conditions are extremely vulnerable. During these natural disasters there may be disruption of transportation services and health systems may be down. Access to essential medicine and health care may not be available. It is encouraged that you have a stash of medicine to last you during the storm.
Medication must be well protected, and you should have sufficient medication to last you for at least an entire week after the storm. Patients must ensure that these medications are stored properly, especially those that may require special conditions, such as insulin.
Ensure that there is access to sufficient food and drinking water. If possible, try to store sufficient water for sanitary purposes as this can help to reduce the spread of communicable diseases.
Ensure that food is prepared in a safe manner to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis.
Having a first aid kit is also very important, as it may have medicines and other tools needed to respond during an emergency.
The importance of preparedness cannot be overstated. Remember that it is better to prepare than to be sorry.
Dr. Rosmond Adams, MD is a medical doctor and a public health specialist with training in bioethics and ethical issues in medicine, the life sciences and research. He is a lecturer of medical ethics.
He is the Head of Health Information, Communicable Disease and Emergency Response at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). He is also a member of the World Health Organization Global Coordination Mechanism on the Prevention and Control of NCDs.
(The views expressed here are not written on behalf of CARPHA nor the WHO). You may contact him at [email protected]