The 2020 hurricane season is underway and this year, coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there may be added stress when it comes to ensuring safety from both storm damage and the spread of infection. Being properly prepared can help ensure personal safety and well-being, and it’s equally important to have appropriate medical provisions on hand as it is food and water.
“It is important to have food, water and other household supplies when preparing for a hurricane or other disaster, but it is also important to take stock of your health care necessities and prepare a first-aid kit, as well,” says Dr. Vandana Bhide, a Mayo Clinic internist.
Dr. Bhide recommends these supplies:
- Antibiotic cream or ointment
- Band-Aids and gauze
- A two-week supply of any prescription medications
- Disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer
- Bug repellent
- Sun block
As you put your plan into place, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these extra considerations to protect you and others from COVID-19.
- Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
- Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available.
- When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
- If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic
Mayo Clinic has more information on hurricane health and safety preparedness, and storm cleanup tips.
For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. For more information and COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.