Superstorm Sandy: Basic Health and Safety Tips

Here's what you should know about staying safe in the superstorm.

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A house stands in the center of a yard flooded by Hurricane Sandy in Southampton, New York, on Oct. 29, 2012

In case of power outage: Never use a grill, camp stove or generator inside your home, the Red Cross advises. Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator can keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer, meanwhile, can stay cold for two days. Use a cooler with ice if the power outage lasts longer than a day.

In case of flooding: Stay away from flooded basements and puddles on the streets. The water could be contaminated, and there is a risk of electric shock. If you need to evacuate, make sure you pack a flashlight, batteries, a first-aid kit, clothing, cell phones and chargers, extra cash, copies of personal documents and, of course, food and water. Here is the Red Cross checklist.

Caring for someone with diabetes: Diabetic patients need to have an adequate amount of fluid, so make sure you have drinking water in supply. They are also vulnerable to infections, so pay attention to their feet and treat any wounds as soon as possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Here is a list of items diabetic patients should have in case of emergency.

Dialysis and blood-glucose meters: Here is a guide from National Kidney Foundation for those with chronic kidney disease. Blood-glucose meters need to stay away from heat and humidity, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

After the storm: Make sure your perishable food is safe to eat by following these food-safety tips. If there was a flooding around gas meters, contact your gas company before you turn on the electricity. Pay attention to any damage such as loose power lines, damaged gas lines and foundation cracks, the Red Cross says. Photograph any damage in your home for insurance purposes.


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