Safety Tips for a Blackout:
- Contact your local utility companies before a disaster, to learn how to safely cut off your natural gas, water and electricity. Do not turn the power back on until a qualified professional has inspected all equipment.
- Oxygen dependent patients need backup electrical power for concentrators or backup oxygen cylinders. Have the contact information for your equipment supply vendors.
- Only use flashlights or battery operated lanterns for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
- Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
- Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
- If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
- Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system.
- Never touch a downed power line or anything in contact with a downed power line. Contact the utility company before performing work near a downed power line.
Medications During a Hurricane:
- Prior to hurricane season, speak with your physician regarding your health and medical hurricane plan. Be sure you understand your physician’s “On-Call” policy.
- Bed ridden or immobile patients should make sure that their caregiver will be with them during the storm.
- Dialysis patients will need to receive dialysis just prior to the storm and should pre-schedule an appointment for post-storm dialysis.
- Medication dependent patients must maintain at least a two week supply of critical medication in the event retail pharmacies or physicians offices are closed for an extended period.
- If you use medications that require refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. Have an ice chest where you can store medications that require refrigeration.
- Hospitals are not able to dispense medication to the public so patients must make arrangements to have at least a two week supply on hand through their physician and retail pharmacy.
Carbon Monoxide Safety:
During a power outage, running power generators or other devices can lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that kills more than 500 Americans each year. Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, charcoal, or propane burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, carport, or near open windows, doors or vents outside your home.
Mold Prevention During a Hurricane:
Rain or floodwaters that get into buildings can create conditions that enable mold to grow; however, you can take steps to prevent mold growth. The most important step is to ensure that water is no longer entering the house by making all necessary repairs. Following that, clean and dry all wet items within 48 to 72 hours, keep wet areas, well ventilated, discard materials that retain water and can’t be repaired and if you see or smell mold, clean it with a solution of one cup of household liquid bleach per one gallon of water.
Telephones and Computers During a Hurricane:
Have a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone or pager as alternate form of communication. Remember, many voice mail systems and remote dial-up servers for computer networks may not operate when the power is out where these systems are located.
Water Safety During a Hurricane:
Listen to and follow public announcements. Local authorities will tell you if tap water is safe to drink or to use for cooking or bathing. If the water is not safe to use, follow local instructions to use bottled water or to boil or disinfect water for cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth or bathing.
Hospital Use During a Hurricane:
- Hospitals are NOT an option for general sheltering during a hurricane.
- Hospitals are reserved for treating life threatening situations.
- Hospitals will continue to accept emergency and/or trauma patients.