While many people prepare for a natural disaster by stocking up on essentials like batteries, flashlights and bottled water, they often forget the importance of having a plan in place if a family member gets sick during an emergent weather event.
“Those in the path of a natural disaster are often so focused on other priorities that it’s easy to forget that everyday life, including general illness, doesn’t stop when serious storms are forecasted,” said Dr. Zaid Fadul, a board-certified family physician and flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force.
Dr. Fadul offers these five tips for prioritizing your family’s health, regardless of the weather:
1. Mind your medications. In the event of a disaster, you may not be able to get to your pharmacy, if it’s even open at all. Work with your physician to make sure your family’s medications are stocked prior to an event and that you have a pharmacy locator in case of evacuation.
2. Check your first aid kit. Make sure you have an ample supply of bandages, alcohol swabs, pain relievers, etc., to manage the everyday aches and pains.
3. Download useful apps. Get information from trusted sources like the Red Cross. Download the Red Cross mobile app at www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps to monitor emergency alerts and help you find a shelter if needed.
4. Use virtual care. A child’s fever or stomachache, or an adult’s respiratory infection, is not going to wait for the storm to pass and may very well get worse if you do wait. Find out before a storm hits if you have access to virtual care services like Teladoc, by visiting Teladoc.com/DisasterPrep. Teladoc has thousands of board-certified physicians across the country who are ready to provide care. For emergencies, call 911, but for nonemergency illnesses, virtual care is a smart option to get quality treatment in a timely manner, even during a storm.