Preparing for a Tropical Storm

How to stay safe when a tropical storm is heading your way

(RxWiki News) Tropical storm and hurricane season is already here, but it's not too late to make sure you and your family are prepared.

Atlantic storm season runs from June through November every year, but it's good to be prepared all year long. To make sure you're tropical storm-ready, check out the tips below.

Stock Up

Tropical storms and hurricanes can knock out power. That's why it's important that you have enough supplies to get your family through at least five days during a storm.

Consider all basic needs, such as food, water and medications. And don't forget food, water and medications for your family pets.

Stock up on enough non-perishable food items to feed every member of your family for five days. Canned goods work well in situations without electric power.

As for water, five gallons per person should last for three to five days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Don't forget clean drinking containers. To make your drinking water safe in an emergency, purchase iodine tablets or chlorine bleach specifically designed to make drinking water safe.

During a tropical storm, your ability to head to the pharmacy and pick up your medications may be compromised. Make sure you have an adequate supply of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications before a hurricane. Many state boards of pharmacy have specific laws set in place that allows pharmacists to dispense a set amount of medications in the event of a natural disaster. With this being said, when there's a storm coming your way, call your local pharmacy to determine what can be arranged. 

In addition to food, water and medicine, the CDC recommends keeping the following storm supplies on hand: personal care and hygiene products, sleeping bags and blankets, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit.

Make a Plan

During emergencies like tropical storms, it always helps to have a plan. Sit down with your family to make a tropical storm plan to make sure you're prepared for the worst.

As you make your storm readiness plan, the CDC recommends doing the following:

  • Write down emergency phone numbers and place them near your home phone. Program these numbers into your family members' cell phones.
  • Identify the storm shelter closest to your home. Learn multiple routes to the shelter so you know how to get there even if a road is blocked by a fallen tree or flooding.
  • Learn what the emergency sirens sound like in your area and what each siren means.

Watch for Evacuation Orders

When tropical storms and hurricanes are coming, some people in certain areas may be ordered to evacuate. Don't ignore an evacuation order. Even the sturdiest buildings and homes can be damaged by flooding and strong winds.

If you are evacuating, take only the essentials with you: medications, cell phones, chargers, identification and cash. If possible, unplug your appliances and turn off the electricity, water and gas in your home.

Even if you encounter traffic, stick to the roads that officials and emergency workers recommend on your way to the emergency shelter. Other roads may be flooded or blocked by trees or debris.

If you have questions about how to keep your family safe and healthy during a tropical storm, reach out to your health care provider.

Review Date: 
June 20, 2018