• What you need to stay safe during severe weather

Image courtesy NOAA

The latest storm forecast has Hurricane Idalia making landfall along the Florida Gulf Coast beginning Tuesday, Aug. 29, and spreading across Florida and into Georgia on Wednesday, Aug. 30, before moving into the Carolinas.

Whether sheltering in place or evacuating for a severe weather event, preparing for health and safety before a storm is essential, says Dr. Brittany Beel, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician.

"Past experiences show it can take one storm to have an impact, so it is important to make a plan and assemble supplies for you and your family before any severe weather," says Dr. Beel.

Get supplies ready

While most people tend to focus preparations on having an adequate supply of food, water and batteries, remember a first-aid kit with bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, over-the-counter pain relievers, allergy medicine and any prescriptions. "You will want to have enough medication for each family member, including pets," says Dr. Beel, noting it is ideal to have at least three to 10 days' worth of medications on hand. 

"Also, make plans to keep medications safe, especially if they require refrigeration, such as diabetic supplies," says Dr. Beel. "Determining how long medication can last at room temperature is also important to ensure you have proper storage and enough ice in case of power loss."

Lastly, keep a list of healthcare professionals, phone numbers and all medications you take, including over-the-counter items, with the names, doses and conditions the medicine is for, in your emergency kit as well as any important papers, such as health records, healthcare directives and living wills.

Learn more

Additional hurricane preparation lists and other tips are available here:

In addition, Mayo Clinic has more information on hurricane health and safety preparedness and storm cleanup tips:

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