Hurricane medical tips

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hurricanes can pose a serious threat to people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, asthma or cardiovascular disease, and those who regularly take prescription medication.

During a storm, you may find yourself away from home -- or trapped in your home -- for an unknown length of time with uncertain access to your pharmacies, hospitals and doctors. 

Take steps now to be prepared for whatever hurricane season brings.

Prescriptions
In the event of a storm, most pharmacies will be running on generator power to fulfill immediate prescription needs. 

You can be prepared by:

  • Making a list of all your prescriptions
  • Maintaining a 30-day supply of your prescriptions
  • Keeping an extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts
  • Utilizing your insurance carrier’s mail-order prescription services

Insulin Use And Storage
Insulin should be kept refrigerated to keep its potency through the expiration date.  However, in an emergency situation, insulin left unrefrigerated (between 59 and 86 degrees) for up to 28 days will maintain potency.  You can still use insulin that has been stored up to 86 degrees, but it may have lost its potency, which could result in loss of blood glucose control over time.  Patients with diabetes should review emergency insulin usage recommendations with their doctor.  Additional information can be found at www.diabetes.org.

Oxygen And Other Special Medical Needs
If you rely on oxygen, contact your oxygen supplier when expecting a hurricane to obtain a two-day supply.  If you receive home healthcare or require electricity for life support, make emergency plans with your primary care physician.  Consider registering in advance at a special needs shelter.


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