Protect Your Health during Hurricane Season

Chetan Khamare, MD, FACC

As a Tampa Bay resident or snowbird, you’re acutely aware of Hurricane season and may think you have all of the preparedness information you could ever need to weather any storm. But, as Hurricane Dorian so recently reminded us, there is no such thing as being too prepared.

Oftentimes, when a storm is coming our way, we think first about protecting our property. We board up or shutter our homes, we bring in the porch furniture, and generally everything we can to limit damage to our homes. Secondarily, we focus on ensuring we are prepared for a period of time without power, stocking up on food that doesn’t require refrigeration. We also consider our financial well-being, knowing that cash will play an important role in our lives in the aftermath of a storm.

But what about our health. All too often, we think of taking care of ourselves last. This hurricane season, put yourself first by following a few lesser known health-preparedness tips.

Manage Your Stress

If you find the 24/7 news coverage of the storm track stressful, get away from it now and again.

• Go for a walk, listen to the music that makes you calm and positive.
• Turn off the TV, go into another room, and do some standing deep-breathing exercises. (Google “breath of joy” for a great stress-busting and energizing technique.)
• Avoid “managing” your stress with alcohol or other substances; you want to be in top shape, not dehydrated or foggy brained.

Think Ahead

Being prepared in advance is a great way to manage stress and ensure you use all available tools to protect your health.

• Gather copies of your prescriptions, insurance card and other important health information. Store them in a stocked go bag.
• Consider ordering an extra supply of any medications, supplements or medical supplies at the start of hurricane season to have on hand if you have to evacuate or leave your home suddenly. (Always store these items as suggested.)
• Have a list of all of your medications/supplements with doses and prescribing doctor and phone number as well as your pharmacy phone number packed in your go bag.

For additional stress management and cardiovascular health tips, visit us at premierheartandvascular.com.

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