When hurricane season approaches it is time to start gathering up supplies in order to be prepared in case you have to ride out a storm or are left without power. This means checking flashlights, stockpiling batteries, water, canned food and snacks and especially making sure you have a ready supply of basic, but essential first aid items on hand.
Even the somewhat less intense winds of a tropical storm can cause downed tree limbs and widespread power outages and it can take several days to see the electricity restored even in large cities with crews working around the clock. No power means no going out to the store, especially at night. Even if you could navigate the darkened streets with no lights and who knows what obstacles that have been blown onto the road, the store will be boarded up and its shelves will more than likely have been cleaned out by the people who planned ahead.
A basic store-bought first aid kit will usually at least have bandages, alcohol prep pads, sterile gauze, tape, antibiotic ointment, and analgesics. During a hurricane when you don’t know how long you will be cooped up some place without access to assistance you will want to plan for every possible situation. Individually wrapped travel size packets of over the counter medications such as fever reducer, antihistamine, antacid, antidiarrheal and antiemetic tablets are absolutely essential. The packets are less cumbersome to carry than a bunch of pill bottles; plan on a few packets per family member.
Alcohol pads are useful to clean the skin and items like needles and tweezers, but in the case of a cut or scrape that may have had contact with bacteria, a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, antiseptic, astringent (such as with hazel) or even hydrogen peroxide will be more effective. A well-stocked hurricane first aid kit will have a small bottle of each. Cotton balls, swabs and pads are a good idea as well.
In addition to a good pair of tweezers be sure to have a thermometer in your first aid kit. Cough drops, tissues, wipes and even hemorrhoid cream are things you might not think you will need but will be grateful to have on hand when the time comes that you have to use them. One of the most important supplies to have on hand during hurricane season is a topical product for mosquito bites as well as a repellant. Conditions after a storm are just the kind to bring out mosquitoes in droves.
A well-stocked hurricane first aid kit can mean the dfference between a minor inconvenience or discomfort and a major health emergency. Don’t be caught during severe weather without the basic essential supplies on hand.