Hurricane Medical Tips

WSVN — Another thing to consider when getting ready for hurricanes is your family’s medical needs. Here’s Diana Diaz with the first aid facts.

It happens before and after a storm: people get hurt and rush to the hospital.

Mike Jachles, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue: “Fall injuries, cuts, bruises, lacerations.”

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue says emergency crews and hospitals often get overwhelmed, so make sure you have a true emergency before going to an E.R. or calling 911.

Mike Jachles: “911 is for life-threatening emergencies. For bumps, bruises, sprains, things like that, check your urgent care centers in the neighborhood, you may get in and out quicker.”

If you have a serious medical condition, you need to have a plan and a place to ride out the storm.

Mike Jachles: “Cardiovascular conditions, chronic conditions that may require hospitalization, or if you’re pregnant, the time is before a storm to talk to your medical provider and know, Do I go to a hospital? Do I go to a special shelter?”

Once a storm strikes, emergency help may be hard to find.

Mike Jachles: “When the winds reach a certain speed, it’s not safe for our vehicles and our people to be on the road.”

Keep in mind, you’ll need to fill all prescriptions ahead of time. And have enough medicine to last at least two weeks. Also, make sure to stock up on batteries for medical devices.

Mike Jachles: “People that may be on ventilators, people that have oxygen equipment, if you don’t have any way to power equipment, you’re not going to have what you need.”

Diana Diaz: It’s important to put together a good first aid kit, in case you can’t get to the doctor or emergency crews can’t get to you.

Dr. Barbara Pena, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: “A first aid kit at home is important because you can start the healing process immediately.”

Dr. Barbara Pena, a pediatric emergency doctor at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital invited us into her home to show us the necessities in her personal first aid kit.

Dr. Barbara Pena: “I like to keep my first aid kit in a kitchen cabinet up high, so that water doesn’t get to it, but also so my young children don’t get to it.”

She says some of the most important items inside her water-proof box, are medicines to clean wounds.

Dr. Barbara Pena: “I have hydrogen peroxide, and then there is betadine, which are both antiseptic ointments. You would use these to prevent infections.”

Don’t forget Band-Aids, gauze, tape and instant cold packs.

Dr. Barbara Pena: “All you have to do is squeeze them and they turn into ice. You can use this for any minor injury.”

And some items that people usually don’t think about, slings and ace wraps.

Dr. Barbara Pena: “People fall and if you have a sprain or broken limb and to immobilize it is very important.”

Dr. Pena also suggests stocking up on over-the-counter pain medicine.

Dr. Barbara Pena: “Always have some acetaminophen or some ibuprofen at home, you need both the adult and children’s version.”

Other must-haves, sunscreen, aloe for sunburns and mosquito repellent.

Dr. Barbara Pena: “Mosquitos like standing water and there is a lot of standing water after a storm.”

Having a good medical plan, can save your life.

If you have a serious medical condition, talk to your doctor now about what steps you need to take if a storm approaches.