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Hurricane Safety for People with Parkinson's

Hurricane Irma safety tips for people with Parkinson’s

As Texas continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey and many people prepare for Hurricane Irma, the 2017 hurricane season is underway. Preparing for a hurricane is a necessity for anyone in a storm’s path. Take evacuation orders seriously — while no one wants to be bothered to pack everything and leave, be sure to keep the safety of yourself and loved ones a priority. We’ve written these tips specifically catered to people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their caregivers to ensure that all PD-related needs are accounted for when preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters:

  1. Take inventory of all medications and reorder any that are running low.

  2. Write down or print a list of all your medications (not just PD medications). Include medication name, strength, times taken and dosages. This customizable medication schedule can help.

  3. Make a list of your doctors and their contact information and take it with you if you need to evacuate before a storm.

  4. Medications may require that they be taken with a meal and usually water. Calculate five gallons of water per person per day. Buy enough water and food to last three to five days.

  5. Stock your PF Aware in Care kit in the event you need to educate an emergency responder or health care professional about your PD needs. If you don’t have a kit yet, you can print the contents here. Be sure to order a kit of your own after the storm by calling our free Helpline at 1-800-473-4636.

  6. Keep a PD Medical Alert Card with you at all times. If you don’t have one, print one here.

  7. Check in with your support network before and after. Arrange for at least one friend or family member to call you during a weather emergency, especially if you live alone.

  8. The stress of possibly losing power or being evacuated could make anyone anxious, but stress can worsen PD symptoms. Download a meditation or breathing app or try to distract yourself by reading a book.

  9. Know your nearest shelter. Visit the Red Cross website to find yours.

  10. If you are preparing to evacuate, write and follow a packing list. Make sure to include all medications, water and snacks.

  11. Know your community response plan. Learn about your area’s response and evacuation plans before a storm hits. Find your state’s emergency management agency here.

  12. Take all your medications in their bottles with you.

  13. Take your walker, cane or wheelchair, even if you only use it occasionally.

We urge everyone to take precautions to stay safe during this storm. If you have any questions about these tips, please call our free Helpline at 1-800-473-4636.