Preparation is Key to Weathering Disasters

Date: 09/01/17

ST. LOUIS, MO (September 1, 2017) – A devastating event like Hurricane Harvey should make us aware of how vital it is to prepare for disasters of all types.

To stay prepared, be aware of possible emergencies that could happen in your area and the best ways to respond. Think about your daily needs and responsibilities and how you would handle these in the event of a disaster. This will help you create an emergency plan that works for you and your family. Things to consider include how to care for elderly relatives with special health needs, how to care for pets and how to coordinate with your child’s daycare facility in the event of an emergency.  These types of issues should be addressed before disaster strikes.

What to have on hand

Following a disaster, you may be without electricity, gas, water and phone service for a few days, a week or more. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that you include the following items in an emergency supply kit:

  • Water - one gallon per person per day for at least three days
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
    • Keep everyone’s dietary needs in mind
    • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty
    • Choose things that don’t require refrigeration, cooking or water
  • Prescription medicines, copies of prescriptions and eyeglasses. If you have a health condition, make sure you include enough medications and health supplies, such as oxygen or insulin
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Cash
  • Contact list with important financial information, phone numbers, addresses and account information

You should also create a communication plan with family members. One of the first things you should decide is whether you will stay home or evacuate. If your family is not together, you should determine how to contact each other. FEMA suggests that pet owners contact a local animal shelter or talk to a veterinarian to find out about safe emergency options.

Different types of disasters require specific preparations. You can learn more about how to prepare for these events by visiting www.ready.gov. Planning ahead and communicating with family members can make a big difference in staying safe.

After the storm

The aftermath of a natural disaster can bring its own set of problems, including trauma, shock and other emotional health issues. Picking up the pieces and putting your life back together requires patience, perseverance and support.

You may have your own support system or an employee assistance program (EAP) at work to turn to for help. In addition to counseling, education and coping strategies, EAPs can provide referrals for a host of life needs, including legal and financial resources, childcare and housing. Ask your HR representative or look through your benefits information to find out if your workplace offers this benefit.

Learn more about Envolve’s EAP services.

About Envolve, Inc.®

Envolve, Inc.® is a family of health solutions, working together to make healthcare simpler, more effective and more accessible for everyone. As an agent for change in healthcare, Envolve is committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. Envolve unifies medical managementutilization managementspecialty pharmacyPBMvisiondentalbehavioral health managementlife and health/wellness managementempowerment and education servicestelehealth services24/7 nurse advice services, and data, analytics and IT solutions. For more information, please visit our website www.envolvehealth.com or contact us today at info@envolvehealth.com