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Hurricane medical tips from Dr. Rachel

Hurricane season is once again upon us. It is time to get all your medical affairs together so you are ready to evacuate.

Note how I said: “So you are ready to evacuate.”

If you have a chronic medical condition of any kind or if you are pregnant, you must evacuate.

Here’s what you need to do:

1)      Get a copy of your medical records which documents all of your health problems, allergies, medications and physician contacts.  This is especially important for pregnant women.

2)      Make an index card with all your insurance policies and their passwords so you can access those via the internet when you are away.

3)      Make sure that you have enough of your prescription medications to last two weeks. Bring all your prescription medications in the original bottles.

4)      Get a written prescription for all your prescriptions to take with you when you evacuate, especially for those of you on insulin.

5)      Bring extra pair of glasses or contacts.

6)      Get your first aid kit stocked and ready to bring with you.

7)      If you require medical supplies, such as blood testing supplies, dressings or bandages, make sure you bring enough supplies for two weeks.

Some people have to do a little bit more preparation:

If you have special needs and you have no place to evacuate then you must go to a shelter for special needs.  The special needs shelters require that one family member evacuates with you.

Anyone who is dependent on life supporting devices, such as oxygen or dialysis, must evacuate.

Make arrangements with your medical equipment company to assure extra canisters or refills can be supplied if you are oxygen dependent.

Bring the name and phone number of your supplier with you.

If you are on dialysis, you need to identify dialysis centers in other parts of Louisiana or nearby states.  Have your records sent to that center and make arrangements to stay close to that center.

Don’t forget to bring your cell phone and charger.

Please act now so you are medically prepared if you have to evacuate.

Have a safe and prepared hurricane season.