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Hurricane Prep

How to Prepare:

  • Create a family emergency communication plan
  • Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit – which we will review shortly
  • Have your “Red Emergency Folder” you were given at your dialysis center ready to go – it has all the information you need in it.
  • Know your local hurricane shelter locations, pre-register if possible, and evacuation routes
  • Protect your home & don’t forget about your pets
    • Make sure pets are wearing identification tags on their collars and keep a leash handy.

Emergency Supply Kit Suggestions:

  • First aid kit and local maps, in case your phone/GPS isn’t working
  • Water, one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least 3 days – for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable foods, including appropriate foods for your dialysis diet – which we will also review
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and, if possible, a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • A Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes or baby wipes for sanitation
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Cell phone with chargers, external battery pack, or solar charger
  • Something to fan yourself with to help keep you cooler

Survival Tips:

  • Plan ahead and tell your friends and family what your plan is in the event of an emergency.  Do not wait until the last minute to make your plan.
  • Be aware of your local hurricane shelters and which are special needs shelters.
    • Preregister with your county if possible.
  • Keep a current medication list with dosages, your doctors names and phone numbers, your dialysis unit’s phone number, and your local hospital’s phone number with you.  
  • Also, keep a 2-week supply of medications and diet needs on hand at home through Hurricane Season
  • Ask a friend or relative in another area or state to be your contact person.  In an emergency, you may not be able to call locally but may still be able to make calls outside of your local area.
    • Make sure your dialysis facility has that contact person’s information so we can find you after the storm has passed if needed.
  • Keep your “Red Emergency Folder” from your facility with you ready to take wherever you go.  
  • Wear a Medical Alert bracelet. This can alert medical staff to your immediate needs.

What to take with you to a shelter:

  • Identification and Medical Information cards
  • Medications (including non-prescription medication)
    • Medical equipment/supplies
    • Portable oxygen, concentrator, nebulizer, diabetes testing supplies and medications, walker, hearing aids, glasses, etc
    • Blanket & pillow
    • Change of clothing & personal hygiene items like toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant
    • Special dietary foods/snacks
    • Cell phone, battery, charger
    • A book, magazine, puzzle book or something to occupy your time while you wait for the storm to pass
  • Water and food, if possible
  • Important papers
  • Service animals and ordinary domestic household pets are usually welcome at Special Needs Shelters. NO reptiles are allowed.
  • Reminder: Hospitals do not provide shelter, instead please go to a Red Cross or Special Needs Shelter.

If you need to evacuate:

  • If ordered to evacuate, leave as soon as possible, do not wait
  • If possible, call your dialysis facility and tell them where you are headed.
  • If there is time to do so safely, secure your home. Unplug appliances and turn off electricity and the main water valve,
  • Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed out bridges.

Emergency Diet Basics:

  • The Emergency Diet is essential if you are not able to get your dialysis as scheduled.  It will help to lower your risk of fluid overload & build up of toxins in your blood.
  • I am only reviewing the very basics in this segment…The National Kidney Foundation has a great handout available online at www.kidney.org.  It is called Emergency Meal Planning for Patients on Dialysis.
    • A copy of this is included in every Red Emergency Folder CFKC provides.
    • Please read it BEFORE a storm hits.
  • Limit your fluid intake to 2 cups or 16oz per day.  Chew gum to help cope with thirst.
  • Do not use salt or eat salty foods if at all possible.  This will help limit your thirst.
  • Avoid all high potassium foods like orange juice, bananas, plantains, mango, melons, potatoes or potato chips, tomatoes & tomato sauce based foods.
  • If you have diabetes, keep instant glucose tablets, hard candies, apple, cranberry, or grape juice, or sugared soda handy to treat low blood sugar levels.
  • Remember to PLEASE review the Emergency Diet & gather the non-perishable groceries BEFORE the storm arrives.


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