It has certainly been a frightening few days for residents of North Florida and throughout the state.
Hurricane Irma was the first Category 4 storm to make landfall in Florida since 2004. The full extent of damage from the storm is unknown; however, so far at least 12 people have been confirmed dead.
Although the storm weakened considerably by the time it reached Gainesville and North Florida, the eye passed just west of Gainesville, resulting in battering winds and torrential rain that are still greatly impacting our community. In addition, widespread power outages and flooding continues to be a problem in some area.
For this reason, the staff at All About Women in Gainesville and Lake City would like to remind our patients and all North Florida residents to make their safety and health a primary concern amidst the disaster recovery process.
Disaster Recovery: Health & Safety Tips
Hurricane recovery is a slow process. You and your family’s safety and health – as well as persevering your mental and physical well-being – is a primary concern.
Here’s some expert advice from our Gainesville OB/GYN physicians and government resources on how to keep you and your family safe and healthy during post-hurricane recovery:
- If you evacuated, listen to local news to determine when it’s safe to return home. Don’t return until the storm has completely passed and local officials have given your neighborhood the green light.
When administering first aid for any injured person following a disaster:
- Check for injuries but do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of death or further injury. If you must move an unconscious person, first stabilize the neck and back, then call for help immediately.
- If the victim isn’t breathing, carefully position the victim for artificial respiration, clear the airway and commence mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
- Maintain body temperature with blankets. Be sure the victim does not become overheated.
- Never try to feed liquids to an unconscious person.
- Avoid exhaustion. Don’t try to do too much at once. Set priorities and pace yourself. Be sure to get enough rest.
- Drink lots of clean water and remember to eat well.
- Wear protective clothing and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water often when cleaning up debris.
- Watch for flooded roads, contaminated buildings, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring and slippery floors.
- Inform local authorities about health and safety issues, including chemical spills, downed power lines, washed out roads, smoldering insulation and dead animals.
Hurricane Recovery Resources
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): https://www.fema.gov/
- Florida Emergency Management: http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp
- Post Office Service Updates: http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/welcome.htm
- Gainesville City Updates: http://www.cityofgainesville.org/Newsroom
From all of us at All About Women, we wish you and your family a safe, speedy recovery! Contact us if you wish to schedule an appointment with a compassionate OB/GYN well woman care physician in Gainesville or Lake City.