If you were to evacuate your home during a natural disaster, what would you think to grab? Photo albums, jewelry, cash and the family pet? Would your prescription medications make the list? How should your preparations change due to COVID-19?
Here are a few quick items to pack to ensure your medications are ready to go in a short amount of time.
- A laminated list of medications and instructions, in case you need assistance communicating with others.
- A cooler bag for any medications that need to be kept cold.
- At least a week’s supply of your regular medications and medical supplies or as much as you can keep on hand.
- Copies of the style and serial numbers of any assistive devices, such as oxygen tanks or asthma breathing treatment devices.
- Medical insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, physician contact information, list of your allergies and health history stored in a waterproof container.
- Extra batteries for hearing aids or extra hearing aids if you have them.
- Extra eyeglasses and backup supplies for any visual aids you use.
- Small first-aid kit with items such as Band-Aids and personal hygiene items.
- Any over-the-counter medications you take regularly.
In addition to this normal checklist, extra thought should be given to preparing for complications posed by COVID-19. If you must evacuate, you should have a bag ready with items such as masks, hand sanitizer, a thermometer, disinfecting wipes, and possibly a pulse oximeter (a device that clips onto your finger to measure heart rate and oxygen levels in your red blood cells.) If you have a smart phone, you should ensure that you have the MyChart app downloaded so you can have easy access to your medical records, such as COVID-19 test results, and your physician. If evacuating out of the state, please review what restrictions that state may place on visitors from Louisiana.
Your ability to recover from an emergency tomorrow may depend on the planning and preparation you do today.
Learn more about hurricane preparedness at Ochsner.