Medical conditions add another element to storm preparations

Updated: Sep. 14, 2020 at 7:14 PM CDT
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - As Mississippians prepare for the landfall of Hurricane Sally, people living with medical conditions face an extra set of questions.

Anna Edenfield, co-owner of Home Instead, a senior home care service in Petal, said it all starts with a good plan.

"Right now, we recommend individuals and their families have a response plan and strategy in place for when a storm is coming in this situation,” said Edenfield.

She suggests a plan that specifically caters to your own or a loved one’s health conditions.

“This is something that is going to be unique to each individual or person, so it is important for me to say plan ahead, like all the local and state officials are saying,” said Edenfield.

Different medical situations warrant different concerns, like a well-stocked supply of oxygen, backup generators for medical equipment, a supply of current prescriptions or a safe, supportive place for people with conditions like dementia.

Any medical concerns should be a permanent and early part of a storm prep checklist.

“Reach out to their medical doctors and incorporate that into their plan,” said Edenfield.

Edenfield added that an important aspect of preparing is making sure people with medical conditions have someone they can reach out to after a storm hits to check in.

“Have a backup plan of who they are going to contact family-wise or neighbor-wise,” Edenfield suggests.

Again, people with current medical conditions should reach out to their doctors with any questions as they prepare for severe weather.

For those in need of extra medical care in South Mississippi, a medical needs shelter is open in Stone County. The shelter is located at 1640 Coy Avenue in Wiggins.

Only one caregiver may accompany the resident inside the shelter. All residents should bring any prescribed medication or equipment needed for care if possible.

Certain criteria must be met to be admitted to the shelter.

  • Those with health or medical conditions who require professional observation or care,
  • Those with chronic conditions who require assistance with daily living activities or skilled nursing care, but do not require hospitalization,
  • Those who need supervised medication dispensing or vital signs readings,
  • Those with physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities who cannot be sheltered in a general population shelter, or
  • Those with other disabilities who cannot be sheltered in a general population shelter.

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