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The Atlantic hurricane season is well underway with projections that Hurricane Ian will make landfall in the U.S. this week.
Reminding residents to prepare for a severe weather emergency, Florida has issued a state of emergency in advance of the expected storm.
"Past experiences show it is important to make a plan for you and your family in advance of any severe weather event," says Dr. Brittany Beel, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician.
While most people prepare for a loss of power and stock up on flashlights, batteries, bottled water and canned food, Dr. Beel says now is the time to review your evacuation plan and health care needs.
"When preparing for a hurricane or other disaster, it's important to take preparations for your home but also have a plan in case you have to leave," says Dr. Beel. Additionally, create a first aid kit and take stock of any health care necessities, and don't forget about your including pets."
Dr. Beel also recommends having a list of all health care providers as well as a week's worth of any medications. Although most pharmacies can dispense emergency refills of prescription maintenance medication to persons who reside in an area or county covered under the state of emergency, it is best to pack what you need.
If you plan to hunker down at home, create a meal plan in advance, since most people aren't thinking about recipes during a disaster, and refrigeration and cooking may become a problem.
Additional hurricane preparation lists and other tips are on these websites:
And Mayo Clinic has more information on hurricane health and safety preparedness and storm cleanup tips: