As Hurricane Sandy Storms Eastern US, it is time to brace ourselves and take a look at some of the health risks that one can avoid by being cautious. Hurricanes are not new to America and most of us are aware about health risks; however, there is no harm in just going through the list again to prevent unnecessary injuries, illnesses and even maybe save a life.
Storm Sandy is predicted to impact over 50 million Americans and remaining safe is the top priority.
Just be cautious,
- Flooding is the main cause of deaths during a hurricane and this happens mainly while people try to wade through gushing waters. Try to stay indoors and do not step into water of unknown depth.
- Do not travel into restricted flood danger areas. A foot of water has the capacity to float a vehicle.
- Do not try and work on fallen trees, or tree limbs. Wait for the storm to subside. CDC posts information on preventing chain saw injuries. Click here.
- Power outages will be common and extreme caution should be exercised. Keep at ten feet distance from any downed wires. Do not touch trees, fences, or object that are in contact with power lines.
- Flooded homes and flooded appliances are electrical hazards waiting to happen. Please wait until an electrician inspects electrical system prior to switching on lights in a flooded building.
- If you are using generators during power outages, make sure they are operated outside to prevent danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Once the storm subsides and things begin to dry, most or all that got wet would begin to mold. How to reenter a flooded home, on the CDC website would be a good read and help.
- Risk of infectious diseases is very high after floods and hence be very careful as to what you consume.
People suffering from chronic conditions should take these precautions:
- Those suffering from diabetes should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Keep sugar containing foods nearby to eat in the event of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. People should also take care to prevent infections and wounds to their feet.
- Cancer patients undergoing treatment have compromised immune system and these people should be extremely careful. Please keep health provider’s contact information at hand.
- People with disabilities should make sure to keep charged car batteries for powering electric wheelchairs at home and stock up on food and water to last a week.
- Make sure that you have your prescription medicines stocked up for a week.
As Sandy unleashes its fury on the east coast of United States, stay safe and stay healthy once the storm subsides.