In this video, icyou's Medical Editor, Dr. Mona Khanna talks about how to prepare for emergency situations.
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Rebecca Fox: From Katrina through Ike, recent active hurricane season who forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes and in the process put their lives on hold. Besides securing food and shelter, health professionals say it’s important for residents to plan for their medical needs during this extended periods when outside resources may not be available. ICYou Medical Editor, Dr. Mona Khanna joining us now to help you and your loved ones prepare and Dr. Mona is not only our medical editor she is also a seasoned emergency medical aid volunteer who has helped hurricane evacuees and tsunami survivors. So in your opinion what are the must-do steps that a person needs to take to maintain her health and whenever they’re evacuating or whether they shall stay in place. Dr. Mona Khanna: Well, the first thing Rebecca, is to make sure that you make these preparations well beforehand, during the time of the hurricane or earthquake or a flood isn’t the time to start preparing for an emergency. It’s during the time of calm that’s when you need to get everything together. The things you really need to worry about are food, clothing, shelter and of course medications with your health. Rebecca Fox: If for those people who have no warning whatever the situation, they don’t have their medication. They can’t get hold of their doctor, where can they turn to receive medical attention? Dr. Mona Khanna: Well, the very first thing that these people need to do is keep a list of their medications and the reason this is so important is because it’s not very helpful for somebody to come to a medical provider and say, “I know I take a little, red pill everyday for high blood pressure.” There are a lots of little, red pills out there so it’s really important to keep a list of medications. This is a good rule even for daily life. Keep a list of medications and keep them inside your wallet just so you know what you take and on that list, here’s what you need. The name of the medication if you have a brand name and a generic name that’s of course, most helpful. The dosage, it could be anything from 20 mg to 200 mg. Make sure you have the dosage on there. The third thing is how many times a day you take it whether it’s once in the morning or once in the morning and once at night. That’s very important too and the last of course is how long you’ve taken this medication. For example, if you’re in the middle of being treated for an acute condition such as an infection and you’ve already had four days of penicillin you might only need seven more days to reach the 11-day course of treatment or if you're on a blood pressure medicine that you take on a chronic basis, we need to know that as well. So the medications are absolutely critical. The same holds true for insulin especially for patients who used insulin. We need to know the dosage whether it’s 70-30 or some other configuration and how often they take it during the day. So I would say that’s the most critical because especially during the time of Katrina. I remember we had hundreds of patients coming to us and saying, “Oh, I know I take this little, green pill and I take it twice a day and it’s hard to believe that when we would ask some patients what do you take it for they didn’t even know that information. So arm yourself with all of the information that you need to make sure that your health is nothing else at least remains at a status order in times of emergency. Then of course, there are other things like make sure you have an emergency food supply. Canned food is the best, high in salts of course so the buy the low sodium canned foods. Make sure you have emergency water supplies. The general rule is one gallon of water per person per day. So you need to stock up for at least a three-day course and make sure you change that water every six months. You also want to make sure that you have your immunizations and vaccinations up-to-date. Another great thing to keep in an emergency box is your