Stay Safe! Hurricane Preparedness Tips
It’s hurricane season once again and we at Equal Access Clinic Network wanted to make sure all of our patients take the necessary steps to stay safe during the storms. Due to Hurricane Irma, our Clinics will be closed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (9/11-13). We hope to reopen on Thursday (9/14).
Alachua County Shelters
Hurricane shelters are a last resort. If you have family, friends or a hotel to go to out of the area, it would be preferable to living in an emergency shelter. The decision to open shelters will depend on the severity of the event as well as local needs.
Shelter information will be available by calling 3-1-1 as well as through the media and the Alachua County Emergency Management website. DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 for shelter or storm information. Call 9-1-1 only for a life threatening emergency.
Newberry Archery Center
24880 NW 16 Avenue, Newberry
Gainesville Senior Center
5701 NW 34 Blvd, Gainesville
Hurricane Tips: Pregnant Women
Hurricane season can be a very stressful time for all Floridians, but especially for pregnant woman. To help reduce your stress, and aid in the preparation for a hurricane, a list of helpful suggestions has been provided. The more prepared you are the more comfortable and safe you will be. Please use these tips recommended by March of Dimes and the Department of Health.
For pregnant women and women with infants please visit http://www.getreadyforflu.org/newsite.htm for more updates.
Before the Hurricane – Pregnant Women
The following suggestions will serve as guidelines to help you prepare for a hurricane or other disaster:
- Prepare a current list of all prescriptions and prenatal vitamins you are taking. Put this list in sealable plastic bag then in a secure place among the belongings you plan to take with you if you leave your home.
- Bring at least a two week supply of all medications with you if you choose to relocate or go to a shelter during a storm.
- When possible, always bring medications in their original prescription bottle. In an emergency, an emergency decree allowing pharmacies to refill medications may be made, but you must have the original bottle.
- Place your medications in a sealable plastic bag to keep them dry and protect the information on the label in case you need to obtain refills.
- Make sure you have an additional supply of equipment needed to administer medications. For example, if you are diabetic bring your insulin, testing equipment, and supplies; while those with asthma may need a nebulizer.
Call your Physician
- Communicate with your health care provider’s office to let them know where you will be; if you plan to leave town bring a copy of your medical records including prenatal record, immunizations, and current medications with you.
- Make sure that your health care provider has a current telephone number of where you will be staying.
- If you had or are having complications in your pregnancy, check with your health care provider to discuss whether it is safe for you to leave prior to the storm or if it would be better for you to go to a hospital or general shelter during the storm.
- If you have a chronic medical condition or pregnancy related complication and decide to leave town, it will be extremely important to bring your current medications, your recently updated medical record information, and the name and telephone number of your health care provider to assure proper treatment should you need it.
- If you choose to go to a hospital shelter you will need to bring a few personal items, but remember space is usually limited. Check in advance to see who may come with you to the hospital shelter and which supplies you will need to bring. Call the hospital in advance to make sure they have room and that this is where your doctor wants you to go.
- Healthy Start Women– If you are part of Healthy Start, or have another case manager, let your care coordinator know where you are going. If you decide to leave town, provide a telephone number where you will be staying. If you are planning to go to a hospital or shelter, then let the care coordinator know where you will plan to go. Remember to bring your prenatal vitamins, medications, and any medical supplies or equipment.
If you go to a hospital shelter or general shelter during the storm:
- Do Not go to the hospital shelter or general shelter until you know that they are accepting people. Call the hospital or general shelter in advance to verify that you can take shelter there; if you go, please follow the directions for that shelter.
- Ask the hospital or general shelter if you should bring food and water. They may recommend that you bring bottled water, non-perishable snacks, and/or money to buy food.
- Bring all medications that you are taking as well as your prenatal vitamins. If possible, they should be in the original bottle.
- Bring the following items unless the hospital or shelter facility gives you other directions: Blanket, pillow, sleeping bag, and any toiletries, flashlight, batteries, something to help pass the time, any additional items the hospital or shelter recommend that you to bring.
After the Hurricane
Once the hurricane has past, there will be a period of cleanup and recovery. This is the time when you must be very careful not to become dehydrated and/or over-tired. Dehydration can be a contributing factor to premature labor. To prevent dehydration and exhaustion follow these suggestions:
- Drink plenty of water or beverages that do not contain alcohol or caffeine.
- Take a cool shower or sponge bath and try to stay in the shade or an air conditioned area if possible. If you have to be outside in the heat, bring water and an umbrella to provide shade.
- Do not lift heavy objects.
- Be sure you do not over tire yourself, take frequent rests.
- Try to eat a healthy diet as soon as possible.
- Keep all doctor appointments.
If you are concerned about the condition of your baby or yourself contact your health care provider or emergency room immediately.
For more information:
Family Health Line 1-800-451-2229
National Flood Insurance Program 1-800-427-4661
State of Florida: www.myflorida.com
Florida Department of Health County Health Departments: www.doh.state.fl.us/chdsitelist.htm
Florida Division of Emergency Management: www.floridadisaster.org
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): www.fema.gov
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): www.noaa.gov
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: www.whitehouse.gov/homeland
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov
USDA Food Safety and Consumer Information: www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/
March of Dimes: www.marchofdimes.com