Preparing for a Hurricane: Before and After

  • Medical Author:
    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.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    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.

View First Aid Essentials Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideFirst Aid Pictures Slideshow: 8 First Aid Essentials for Car or Purse

First Aid Pictures Slideshow: 8 First Aid Essentials for Car or Purse

How do I perform first aid for injuries?

First aid is extremely important when someone is exposed to waters potentially contaminated with human, animal, or toxic wastes.

  • If you live in a hurricane-prone area, take a community-based first aid course, such as those offered by the American Red Cross.
  • If you are injured, contact a physician if possible to determine the necessary type of treatment (for example, need for tetanus shot).
  • Immediately clean out all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to wounds and cuts if available to discourage infection. Take care to assure the affected individual is not allergic to the compound.
  • If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.
  • If you are not sure what to do for yourself or someone else, seek help immediately.

How can I prevent injuries after a hurricane?

When the wind and waters recede, people in the areas affected by a hurricane will continue to face a number of hazards associated with cleanup activities. Follow these guidelines to prevent injury.

Prevent fatigue-related injuries

Long hours of work, combined with exhaustion, can create a highly stressful situation during cleanup. People working on hurricane and flood cleanup can reduce their risks of injury and illness in several ways:

  • Set priorities for cleanup tasks and pace the work. Avoid physical exhaustion.
  • Resume a normal sleep schedule as quickly as possible.
  • Be alert to emotional exhaustion or strain. Consult family members, friends, or professionals for emotional support.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2016
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