JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With several months left in hurricane season, health officials are encouraging residents to prepare ahead to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.
Dr. Michael Boniface, an emergency medical physician with Mayo Clinic, said it is important for people to pack personal health and hygiene items in their emergency supply kits.
“Particularly, medications are often forgotten and it’s not uncommon that every season we’ll see folks in our emergency departments because they have evacuated perhaps from South Florida and need to refill of their medications,” said Boniface. “So, I strongly recommend not only keeping a list of your medications for yourself and your family members but also at least a 72-hour supply in your emergency kit.”
After a storm, Boniface said, injuries are common during the clean-up efforts.
“During the hurricanes themselves, it’s actually rather slow in the hospital as one would expect, but we do see a surge afterward,” Boniface said. “The majority of this tends to be from survey of storm damage and cleanup.”
He said the most common injuries include stepping on debris, falling off a ladder or accidentally getting hurt using tools.
“Accidental self-inflicted injuries are probably the most common,” said Boniface. “People using chainsaws, axes, who maybe aren’t used to it, the sort of weekend warrior DIY folks. You should do whatever you feel comfortable with, but do it safely.”