Category: Helping Hands Blog
Published: Sunday, 29 June 2014 13:51
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Hurricanes 1851 to 2012Hurricane Season 2014

Just in! Hurricane Arthur to make landfall along the Carolina coastline over the Fourth of July Weekend

Hurricane season is upon us once again. This year NOAA is predicting a normal to below normal storm season. Although the season runs the first of June through the end of November, hurricanes tend to peak in August and September, but can still pack major wallops anytime throughout the season. Although there always seems to be a story of someone miraculously surviving while pitting themselves against extreme forces of nature, that is not the recommended way of riding out one of these storms. Preparation may be the key to survival for everyone, but preparation is critical for a person with disabilities.


Most of us know the basic prep items we should always have on hand. The CDC has provided the following list:

• About five gallons of water for each person,

• A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food,

• A first aid kit,

• A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries,

• Sleeping bags or extra blankets,

• Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach,

• Prescription medicines and special medical needs,

• Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies,

• Disposable cleaning cloths, such as "baby wipes" for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available,

• Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc., and

• An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and etc.

Comforts of Home Would be Nice

Beyond the simple supplies list, a person with disabilities needs to take extra time to plan the more difficult things like temporary housing. Usually, private and government entities set up emergency shelters, but these are far less than ideal for a person with moderate to severe disabilities. Being placed into a communal room with dozens of other people for days on end will fray the nerves of anyone, but certainly will cause additional hardship for people already suffering from emotional or psychiatric problems. In addition, finding accommodations for a particular disability such as what may be needed to alleviate back pain may turn out to be impossible in a shelter.

If a hurricane appears to be headed your way, going to a hotel, relative or close friend’s house in a safe location should be a priority starting several days out from the storm’s predicted landfall. Waiting until evacuation routes are packed with stopped cars will only increase unneeded stress. Pre-planning is an absolute must if medical transport is needed. Medical transport companies will necessarily focus on evacuating the most medically needed, and then they will turn their attention to everyone else if there is time before the weather deteriorates to hazardous conditions. However, requesting a transport several days in advance of evacuations will not only help the transport company by reducing the number of calls needed during crunch-time, but will probably help insure that you will be relocated in a timely manner. Remember, a transport of two hours ties of the medical team for at least five hours.

Pack it Up!

Lastly, be prepared to evacuate today. If you live in a hurricane prone location pull out a suitcase and pack it with your clothes, essentials and extra hygiene supplies now and develop a list of items that still need to be packed such as medicine and leave the list in the suitcase for easy referral. Being ready to move quickly will allow you to get ahead of the rush as you can leave while others who did not plan are still packing.

While we hope that the 2014 hurricane season is less eventful than even last year’s, we know that such storms are part of our existence on this earth. Planning for disaster can help to reduce stress and make sure that even the most disabled person is taken care of properly and does not have to depend on miracles for survival.



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The hurricane graphic of storms from 1851 to 2012 used by permission of Nilfanion from Wikipedia.


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