THE 2021 ATLANTIC hurricane season officially starts today, June 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.
We should be reminded that we are currently operating in a pandemic environment and we are also dealing with the aftermath of the volcanic eruption. To mitigate against any adverse impact, advance preparations should start now.
During a hurricane or any other natural disaster, lives are at risk. People struggle to prevent deaths and injuries and take measures to stay alive. Preparation is an important strategy to ensure that all the necessary mechanisms are put into place in the event that these disasters do happen.
Just like you would put measures in place to protect your home and your valuables, you must also put measures in place to protect your health. Your life is your most valuable commodity and so adequate preparation to safeguard your health in the event of a hurricane must be done.
Persons who are ill, suffer from chronic diseases and other conditions are extremely vulnerable. During these natural disasters there may be disruption of transportation services and health systems may be down. Access to essential medicine and health care may not be readily available. It is encouraged that you have a stash of medicine to last you during the storm. This is very important for persons who suffer from chronic diseases and require daily doses of medication.
Medication must be well protected, and you should have sufficient medication to last you for at least an entire week after the storm. Patients must ensure that these medications are stored properly, especially those that may require special conditions, such as insulin.
Ensure that there is access to sufficient food and drinking water. If possible, try to store sufficient water for sanitary purposes as this can help to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. Ensure that food is prepared in a safe manner to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis.
Having a first aid kit is also very important, as it may have medicines and other tools needed to respond during an emergency. Please keep updated through validated sources of information and follow the instructions of the national authorities.
The importance of preparedness cannot be overstated. Remember that it is better to be prepared than to be sorry.