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A mother preparing a hurricane kit while watching her child.

Hurricane Preparation, Caregiving and Health Needs

September 19, 2023


In Texas, hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Proactive hurricane preparation can help you and your family stay safe no matter how the wind blows.

The best time to prepare for a hurricane is long before one is forecast. Call a family meeting and set aside time to create a hurricane preparedness plan and emergency kit. If you’re a caregiver, have chronic health conditions or use specialized equipment, a little extra time spent planning can mean a lot when a hurricane is approaching.

Preparing for a Hurricane With Young Children

Caregivers of infants or young children have a few more things to consider when preparing for a hurricane. What you’ll need depends on your child’s age. 

Even if you’re preparing with no storm in sight, young kids might have big feelings about the idea of hurricane preparation. Giving them age-appropriate books or games about preparing can help ease their fears and make them feel included.

Make sure to add items your infant or child needs to the family emergency kit, such as:

  • A portable crib

  • Books or other activities

  • Diapers and wipes

  • Ready-to-feed formula

Caregiving and Hurricane Preparation

If you or a loved one needs support for daily self-care, make an emergency caregiving plan. Identify who will be responsible for care, designate a backup caregiver and ensure everyone has a key to the home.

People with dementia may experience increased agitation or confusion during a hurricane. Prepare for this by practicing calming techniques regularly and including a calming item or two in your emergency kit. If you need to evacuate, ensure a responsible adult is always with your loved one.

Managing Chronic Health Conditions and Long-Term Medical Treatments

Chronic health conditions are common, especially among older adults. More than half of U.S. adults take prescription medication. If you’re one of them, add the following to your emergency kit:

  • A list of all your prescriptions and dosages

  • Three days’ worth of medications

  • Chemical ice packs or a cooler for medications that need to be kept cold 

People with diabetes should also include one to two weeks of diabetes supplies. Adding a glucagon emergency kit is also a good idea.

For those who rely on dialysis, supplemental oxygen or other ongoing treatments, work with your primary care physician to make an emergency care plan tailored to your needs. 

Consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or storing health information on your phone to share with first responders if needed. 

What to Do About Powered Equipment and Mobility Needs

If you use powered assistive technology, a power wheelchair or scooter, or other medical equipment that requires electricity:

  • Consider getting a backup generator.

  • For equipment such as a hospital bed, lift or power wheelchair, find out if it can be used manually in an emergency.

  • Include extra batteries and chargers for powered equipment in your emergency kit. 

  • Notify your electric company of your needs so they can prioritize your home when addressing power outages.

  • Write down the model and serial numbers for all powered devices and equipment. Keep the list in your emergency kit.

Create an emergency transportation plan specific to your needs. Preparing ahead of time will help make sure you can get to an accessible vehicle if you’re ordered to evacuate.

When a Storm Comes

When you first learn a hurricane is coming, it’s time to put your plan into action. Leave as soon as possible if there’s an evacuation order. Quick action can help keep you and your family safe and may save lives. 

Ready to make an emergency plan customized to your unique health needs? Talk with a St. Luke’s Health primary care physician

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