Fri | Jul 30, 2021

Your health during a hurricane

Published:Wednesday | July 7, 2021 | 12:09 AM

You cannot stop a tropical storm or hurricane, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your family. The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1 through November 30 each year, therefore, if you live in areas at risk, be prepared for hurricane season.

Planning for hurricane season and other potential disasters can be stressful, and during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it may be especially so. Your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. However, it is essential to take care of yourself and make sure you are staying healthy.

Here are some simple and effective ways to manage your storm-related fears and anxiety. Many are essential ingredients for a healthy lifestyle and adopting them can help improve your overall emotional and physical well-being.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

Drinking lots of water seems like a no-brainer to staying healthy, but what do you do when you do not have any? Make sure you stock up on bottles of water, and if there is a chance of the electricity going out, make sure to fill all of your containers with water.

BECOME FAMILIAR WITH FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES

It can be hard to make a healthy meal with no electricity or running water, so learn what foods are okay or not okay to eat without preparation. Make sure that your refrigerated foods have not been sitting out without power for longer than two hours because if your food reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher it becomes unsafe to eat. Keep a thermometer in your fridge and freezer to make sure your foods are still safe.

AVOID JUNK FOOD

Just because that bag of sour cream and onion chips is not going to spoil does not mean you should eat the whole thing. It can be tempting to eat all the cookies and candy in the house since you are trapped and have nowhere to go, but do not ruin your health by spiking your blood sugar. Have a snack, but balance it out with a non-perishable granola bar and get your nutrients.

EAT PROTEIN

If the electricity goes out, you need to still be able to eat healthy. Eating protein like chicken or beef can give you the energy you need to get through the storm. That, and all the nutrients meat has in it, will make you feel better and give you one less thing to worry about.

RELAX

Take this as a time to relax and not have to worry about getting in the car to run all your errands; because you cannot even if you wanted to. Sit back with a glass a wine, which actually has health benefits, and the alcohol can help calm your nerves and take the edge off.

Dealing with a hurricane can bring on a change in barometric pressure, which is the force being exerted by the atmosphere in a given point. In other words, with the pressure a hurricane brings on the earth, it is also going to add pressure to your head. Drink plenty of water and take headache relief like medication to help ease the pain.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BEING HOME

Get some things done around the house you have not had the time to do while getting a workout in. Strap on some ankle weights as you vacuum the living room and do some squats as you wax the kitchen floor. You might as well kill two birds with one stone if you are stuck at home.

KEEP A FIRST-AID KIT HANDY

Even though we do not like thinking about it, you need to be prepared if something physically happens to you during a hurricane. Be prepared with a first-aid kit filled with things like Band-Aids, hydrogen peroxide, cotton swabs, and painkillers on hand, just in case something might happen.

MAKE CONNECTIONS

Make connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. You may find that you may need to rely on electronic forms of communication to stay in touch with your loved ones. Connecting with others also preparing for the arrival of a hurricane may be an additional source of support.

Source: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; Health Fitness Revolution