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It's understandable to be concerned about the safety of your home and family in the event of a hurricane especially if you're new to the area and haven't been through one before.
But often, the best antidote for anxiety is preparation. So we're sharing a few key hurricane prep guidelines to help you feel calm and confident about the season ahead.
Prepare Your Property
The best thing you can do to prep your home today (apart from getting storm shutters, which can be quite expensive), is to have trees and branches trimmed so they are less likely to fall on your roof. Also, be sure to pick up and secure yard debris, outdoor furniture, and other objects that could become airborne in a high-wind event.
It may be helpful to talk to your colleagues and neighbors about their past storm experiences. Find out what they're doing to prepare for what's ahead and get their advice on things to remember.
Choose a safe room in your house and discuss safety strategies at home. Also, communicate with your family about how you'll all stay in touch if you're not home or together when an emergency occurs.
Stock Up on Supplies
It's a good idea to start gathering these essentials long before bad weather arrives. When you wait until hurricane chances hit the local news, you may find long lines and scarce grocery store shelves. Consider stocking up on the following:
- Batteries for flashlights, radios, fans, etc.
- Portable cell phone chargers
- Tarps and tie-down kits
- Generators and fuel
- Battery-operated or hand-crank radios
- Battery-operated fans
- Nonperishable food items (such as canned vegetables and fruit)
- Bottled water
- Non-electric coolers
- Toilet paper
- Disposable plates, cups and utensils
- Diapers and wet wipes
- Pet food
As for how much you should stock up, emergency managers recommend storing at least a three-day supply of food and water for each of your family members (and each of your pets) so you're ready for storm season.
Be Health Smart
If you take medications, be sure you have a two-week supply on hand in case your pharmacy closes or becomes unreachable. Every year, take a look at your first aid kit and restock it with new supplies, like aspirin or other pain relievers, antacids, bandages and gauze, a thermometer, scissors, and antiseptics.
If you or a loved one have special needs, you'll need to make a plan for these as well. Work with your physician before a storm if you have a disability, depend on an electronic medical device, oxygen or other equipment, or need in-home healthcare. Expectant mothers who are two weeks away or less from their delivery date or are considered high-risk may want to make special arrangements with their doctor or hospital.
As the storm approaches, stay tuned to the latest weather reports, and be ready for when the power goes out by having plenty of flashlights and a weather radio with good batteries. Gather everyone in a ground-floor room and keep them away from windows. A general rule regarding sheltering in place is, hide from the wind, run from a flood. So unless you live near the coast, in a low-lying area, a mobile home, or a high-risk flood plain, it's unlikely you'll receive an evacuation order. But if you receive such an order, you should follow it.
Stay Connected to Us
We're always here for you, but when conditions are most dangerous, you may not be able to travel to us. By downloading the eCare app, you can be seen in real-time by a licensed medical provider via a secure streaming online video connection. This type of medical visit is ideal for the following medical concerns:
- Skin conditions
- Minor injuries
- Lower back pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Coughs, colds, bronchitis and flu
- Sinus and upper respiratory infections
- Pink eye
Simply download the app at no cost on any smartphone or tablet by searching for eCare or Florida Hospital eCare and then follow the directions to request a virtual visit with a Florida Hospital medical provider. Most eCare visits are available in less than 10 minutes from the time of request.
If you or a loved one needs medical attention after a hurricane or other weather event, come into one of the Florida Hospital Centra Care Urgent Care locations or schedule an appointment online at centracare.org. You can also call toll-free at Call 844-259-6090 .
We're committed to helping everyone in our community get the care they need as conveniently as possible. So, prepare in advance, stay storm safe, and relax knowing we are here when you need us.