Disaster Tip Sheet: Winter Storms

Disaster Tip Sheet: Winter Storms

Preparing Your Health for Winter Storms

Fill prescriptions on time or ahead of time, if you can:

  • Call your pharmacist to ask if your prescriptions can be filled early
  • View Healthcare Ready’s blog on the refill-too-soon laws by state.
  • Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite
    • Frostbite: Numbness, pale/gray/yellowing skin and firm/waxy skin
    • Hypothermia: Shivering, confusion/memory problems, fatigue, trouble speaking, or if your temperature drops below 95° F

Try to keep non-perishable food, water, and can openers on hand

  • Go for canned meats, fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat, and can be used in a renal diet
  • Protein bars, cereal and granola, and dried fruit are great snacks to have
  • If possible, try to keep some food, water, and can openers in your “go-bag”
  • Keep a list of your local healthcare facilities, with addresses, phone numbers, and emails/websites
    • Hospitals/ERs
    • Urgent care clinics
    • Pharmacies
    • Consider these facilities:
    • Ancillary care:
      • Dialysis Centers, Cancer Treatment Centers

Plan for any chronic conditions you may have

  • Diabetes: Talk to your pharmacist about keeping a supply of insulin on hand – Try to refrain from eating sugar and other carbohydrates
  • Kidney disease: Make sure you have access to dialysis treatment and use the renal diet
  • Cardiovascular disease & hypertension: Try to refrain from high-salt and fatty food and aim for 30 minutes of activity a day to manage your blood pressure
  • Pulmonary disease: Work with your supplier to understand options for keeping resupplies of oxygen with you
  • Disability: Develop alternative transportation plans and identify a trusted caretaker if necessary
  • Aging: Post emergency numbers near every house phone and cellular phone
  • Asthma: Have a plan to ensure you have a supply of your asthma medications and supplies
  • Cancer: If you have a cancer survivorship care plan, keep a copy handy and take steps to lower your risk for infections
  • Keep a list of helpful hotlines
    • Healthcare Ready: 1-866-247-2694
    • FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline: 1-800-621-3362
    • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (or text “TalkWithUS” to 66746)
    • Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER): 1-866-901-3773Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767
    • American Diabetes Association: 1-800-342-2283
    • American Heart Association: 1-800-242-8721
    • American Association of People with Disabilities: 1-800-840-8844
    • American Stroke Association: 1-888-478-7653
  • Make sure you know your prescription medication and health information – use Rx on the Run to keep a list of your prescriptions
  • Use RxOpen.org to find open pharmacies near you.

Protecting Your Health During a Winter Storm

If you believe you have frostbite or hypothermia, stay in a warm room

  • Frostbite:
    • Soak in warm water and use body heat to warm yourself
    • Do not massage the skin or use heating pads
    • Stay indoors and avoid driving, if possible
    • Wear thick clothing and multiple layers if you must go outside
    • If you are driving and get trapped in your car, stay inside the car
    • Do not run gas-powered generators, grills, or heaters indoors (Gas build up can be lethal!)
  • Check with your health insurance provider for emergency support resources and hotlines
    • Start by calling the number on the back of your insurance card for assistance
    • If you don’t have insurance, call 2-1-1 and ask about local services that may be able to help
      • If there is a disaster declaration, you can also try to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance for financial support by calling 800-621-3362 or visiting DisasterAssistance.gov

Download our Winter Storm Tip Sheet here:

This Tip Sheet was created thanks to the generous support of Eli Lilly



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