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With hurricane season in full swing, the Chronic Disease Coalition knows that many patients will be preparing for the worst. To help those who have never had to prepare, or for seasoned veterans who are looking for additional tips and tricks, the CDC has put together the top four ways you can prepare for a storm or other natural disaster.
  1. Make a plan. Even if there’s no sign of an upcoming hurricane, or other natural disaster, a plan will help you be prepared when disaster strikes. Keeping a list of your medications, doctors’ names and numbers, family and friends’ contact information, etc. is essential for chronic disease patients to have on hand during the event of a natural disaster.
  2. Keep an emergency supply of food and water. This includes canned food that has a long shelf life (don’t forget a can opener!), bottled water and dry mixes. Make sure this food is stored in a cool, dry area of your home. Also remember to replace food that is nearing the expiration date. Additionally, storing bottled water is critical. Experts recommend storing a gallon of water per person and pet, per day for up to three days.
  3. Prepare your home. Know how to turn off your home’s power, plumbing and gas. Prior to an upcoming storm, consider covering windows to prevent shattered glass from entering your home. If you have a yard, take some time to put away items that may damage your home (grills, bikes, etc.).
  4. Prepare your car. If you have a car, make sure the gas tank is full, have access to physical maps of the surrounding area and jumper cables, and include a preparedness kit that contains a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, sleeping bags or emergency blankets, bottled water and non-perishable food.
Chronic disease patients must be vigilant when preparing for natural disasters. To know more about what to do in the event of a hurricane, flood, tornado or other disaster, consider learning how other chronic patients prepare. CDC Ambassador Amy Sparks, who has lived through many hurricane seasons, has spoken extensively about her experience as an MS patient living in hurricane country. She has used her platform and blog to help others successfully prepare for natural disasters, and you can find her tips and tricks here.