WESTPORT, Conn. – With weather forecasts indicating Westport will likely be hit by Hurricane Sandy early next week, Westport EMS encourages residents to start making health-care preparations for weathering the storm and its possible aftermath.
“Although no one knows yet if Hurricane Sandy will hit this area, preparation and planning will help us all to get through the worst if it happens,” EMS Coordinator Marc Hartog said in a news release. “Westport EMS subscribes to the adage ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’ and encourages town residents to do the same within their own households.”
▪ Medication supplies should be evaluated; refills, if needed, should be arranged for and picked up by the end of the weekend.
▪ An emergency “go kit” should be prepared in case evacuation is needed. Kits should include enough medications to last several days.
▪ Patients on home oxygen are reminded that their oxygen generators depend on electric power to function, and it’s reasonable to assume that the area may have power outages during and following the storm. Patients without emergency home generators might want to consider temporarily relocating to residences of friends or family who have generators in case of power loss. The time to do so is in advance of the storm’s arrival, as road conditions may rapidly deteriorate and make relocating impossible.
▪ Patients on home oxygen who cannot relocate to a location with an emergency generator should contact their home-oxygen supply vendor to arrange for an extra supply of filled oxygen tanks to get them through at least three days use. Vendors, due to road conditions or over-stretching of resources, may not be able to rapidly respond during a storm or in subsequent days. The time to make such arrangements is now.
▪ Residents with emergency generators are reminded to only run them outside and away from the home. Exhaust from generators run inside, including in garages, can cause illness and death from carbon monoxide poisoning.
▪ Residents without emergency generators, whose water supply comes from wells, should pre-fill bathtubs with water which can then be used for drinking as well as flushing of toilets.
▪ Stay off the roads following a storm to allow crews to safely clear hazards.
▪ Remember that downed power lines should always be considered to be energized and an extreme hazard to life and limb, and should never be approached.
▪ Residents are encouraged to register with www.nixle.com to receive emergency information and bulletins sent out by government and emergency services.