I am sure that the first thing you think of when you think about hurricane prep will not be migraine. But because tropical systems are so powerful, they are also a trigger for many people with Migraine.
The 2018 hurricane season was very active. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states, “In total, the season produced 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes of which two were “major” (Category 3, 4 or 5).” An average season is 12 hames storms.
Last year, Erica from Achy Smile and I talked daily about how difficult getting through each storm was. I know that having her to chat with online helped me tremendously. Therefore, though not on the list, one major hurricane prep item is to find a support person to help you through.
I asked Erica to share some tips from her experiences and her tips are on point. “I lost electricity for days. Definitely invest in a generator big enough to power a small refrigerator for medications that need to stay cold. For me it’s Aimovig. Also, load up on bottled water and electrolytes, like Nuun and lots of snacks that aren’t triggers. Snacks that don’t require refrigeration nor a stove. And last, make an Emergency Migraine Kit with all your essentials and go-tos to help during an attack (including one dose of emergency meds that are easy to get to. I put mine in a tiny ziplock that fits in my kit so I don’t have to open many bottles when my eyes are blurry.”
Importance of Hurricane Prep
Being prepared for Hurricanes is very important if you live even a few hours away from the coast. When you have Migraine, a storm doesn’t have to directly impact your town to trigger your Migraine symptoms. To learn more about how weather affects Migraine, read my article, The Trigger That Can’t Be Avoided. Having the things you need to be more comfortable during a hurricane will definitely make life more bearable.
More about Hurricanes
Before we start putting together our Hurricane Kits, it is important to know more about these tropical systems.
Types of Tropical Systems
1. Tropical Depression
A Tropical Depression a low pressure area over an ocean with thunderstorms that creates a circular wind pattern. Maximum sustained winds are below 39 mph.
2. Tropical Storm
If a Tropical Depression intensifies it will be upgraded to a Tropical Storm once the circular rotation becomes more organized and the maximum sustained winds increase to 40 mph.
When a tropical storm’s maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph, it is then upgraded to a Hurricane. Hurricanes are classified by 5 categories on a scale called the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Category 1 is the least damaging and the severity increases until you reach Category 5 will cause catastrophic damage.
The more information you know about Hurricanes and how to prepare for them, the safer you will be. Please download this Guide on How to Prepare for Hurricanes from ready.gov. This 11 page guide is full of useful tips to help you prepare your family and home for an incoming hurricane.
Basic Hurricane Prep
When preparing for a hurricane you must think of the things you will need to sustain life. Shelter, water, food and communication. If you have the things necessary to keep these needs met, you are prepared for the hurricane.
Disclaimer: If you are in direct path of a hurricane, you should follow your local emergency management recommendations for evacuation.
To keep your shelter safe, your roof, windows, surrounding trees and low lying areas are your main focus.
- Before the storm, check your roof for missing shingles or repair any existing leaks.
- Make sandbags and place them where water may come into your home during flooding.
- Cover windows with plywood or Hurricane Fabric to protect windows.
- Check surrounding trees and remove any dead limbs.
Water is one of the most crucial things we need for survival. Without water you can only survive a few days. So, making sure you have water if your usual water supply is contaminated is vital.
- Buy enough bottled water for your entire family to last for one week.
- Buy water purification tablets to use if your bottled water runs out.
- Fill your bath tubs with water. This water can be used to flush the toilets.
If you lose electricity, it is important not to open your refrigerator so cold temperature can last as long as possible. Therefore, it is important to have food and snacksthat does not need refrigeration. It is also important to have food that does not need to be cooked to be safely consumed.
The options are endless but here are some ideas to get you started!
Being able to hear local weather reports or emergency instructions is very important during a hurricane. With the possibility for losing electricity, it is important to prepare with battery operated radios. Having a corded phone is important as well be cause cordless phones do not work when the electricity has been lost.
It is important to know emergency services will be unavailable during the most dangerous times during the storm. This means that an ambulance or police will not be able to reach you in the middle of the storm. Keep this in mind when deciding to evacuate.
Here are some products to help with communication during a hurricane.
Other items you may need:
Migraine Hurricane Prep
Having the things necessary to get through a tropical storm of any kind takes some extra thought if you are a Migraine Warrior. Having a Migraine Emergency Kit will help so everything you need is together.
The first step to preparing for a Hurricane if you have a medical condition is to check your prescription medications. Do you have enough to get you through for a week? If not, contact your pharmacy immediately. The pharmacies will be very busy so this step should be one of your first ones!
Make an Emergency Migraine Kit!
There are many things you need to consider when making your Emergency Migraine Kit.
You will need a container to put your items in. It should be easily portable in case you need to change rooms quickly for you safety. Here are some suggestions.
Migraine Management Needs
Everyone has things they use to help when you have a Migraine. What things do you normally use to help you through your worst Migraine attacks? This items need to be in your kit. Here are a few things that help me cope.
Migraine Medication Organization
Making sure you have the medications you need during a hurricane is one of the most important things you need to do. For medication dispensers and organizers, check out Medication Dispensers to Make Life Easier.
Sitting in a house in the summer heat with no air conditioning is miserable for everyone. When you have Migraines it is even worse. For me, overheating can actually trigger a Migraine so it is important for me to stay cool. Here are some things that I use to stay cool during a hot summer day that will also come in handy during a hurricane.
I hope you have found this Hurricane Prep information helpful. Hurricanes come with a lot of unknowns that we have no control over. Getting prepared for Hurricane Season is important for your safety as well as your health.