Hurricane Preparedness (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Introduction to preparing for a hurricane
- What is a hurricane?
- How are hurricanes named and tracked?
- Preparing Before the Hurricane
- What is my family plan for a hurricane?
- How do I create a hurricane supply kit?
- Where can I go to be safe during a storm?
- How do I secure my home during a hurricane?
- What about my pets during a hurricane?
- What to Do After a Hurricane (What hurricane aftermath health concerns?)
- How can I make sure our water is safe?
- How do I perform first aid for injuries?
- How can I prevent injuries after a hurricane?
- Prevent fatigue-related injuries
- Wear protective gear
- Beware of electrical hazards
- Avoid carbon monoxide
- Beware of structural instability
- Avoid hazardous materials
- Be prepared for fires
- Prevent drowning
- Reduce the risk of thermal stress
- What can I do to cope with mental stress after a hurricane?
- How do I deal with wild and domestic animals in a disaster?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Wear protective gear
For most work in flooded areas, wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank).
Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce noise induced hearing risk from equipment noise. Equipment such as chain saws, backhoes, and professional dryers may cause ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and subsequent hearing damage.
Beware of electrical hazards
- If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.
- Never enter any area with standing water or touch electrical equipment if the ground is wet, unless you are certain that the power is off. NEVER handle a downed power line.
- When using gasoline and diesel generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator.
- If clearing debris or other work must be performed near a downed power line, contact the utility company before entering the area to do work. Extreme caution is necessary when moving ladders and other equipment near overhead power lines to avoid inadvertent contact.
Avoid carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is poisonous to breathe. During flood cleanup, operate all gasoline-powered devices such as pumps, generators, and pressure washers outdoors and never bring them inside a building or home. This will help to ensure the safety from carbon monoxide poisoning for everyone.
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