- Emergency Management
- Learn about Local Hazards
- Public Health and Illnesses
Public Health and Illnesses
Is it a cold? Is it the flu? What do I need to do to stay healthy after a disaster. There are lots of things you can do to avoid getting sick and things you can do while you are getting better like visiting the New Hanover County Health and Human Services web page to learn about accessing services that support optimal health and well-being for all residents. Visit the CDC's Natural Disasters and Severe Weather web site for more ideas and resources to help keep you healthy before, during, and after a disaster.
- Make sure you have an emergency supply of prescription medications. Don't forget to keep a list of your medications. It's also a good idea to put an empty (but current) medicine bottle or pill container in your disaster kit that has the medication, dosage, your doctor's name, and your pharmacy information.
- Take a CPR class and learn how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Every minute CPR is delayed, a victim's chance of survival decreases by 10%. Immediate CPR can double their chance of survival.. "Hands only" CPR doesn't involve breathing into a person's mouth, but focuses on good chest compressions.
- Have backup electricity sources, especially if someone in your home uses medical devices requiring electricity like an oxygen machine or a device that depends on batteries to operate. This includes basics like:
- Emergency lighting, such as a flashlight, head lamp, or battery-powered lantern
- Extra batteries in common sizes, such as AA and AAA
- Hearing aid batteries
- A generator with at least 20 feet of extension cord(s) rated for outdoor use and enough fuel to keep it running.
- Car charger(s), power banks, and adapters for home use equipment and devices
- A battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio with USB port(s)
- Battery-powered or -backup smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
- Appliance thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer
- A surge protector power strip(s)
- Warm clothes, blankets, sleeping bags, and emergency (or space) blankets to keep you warm in cold temperatures
- Collect and protect important documents and medical records. This includes important documents, insurance cards, personal identification, and other personal data that might serve as proof of insurance or identity, or instruct others on how to help you in an emergency. This includes:
- Copies of insurance cards and medical records, such as:
- Health insurance card
- Immunization and vaccination records
- Vital records, including birth certificates and death certificates
- Personal identification, such as:
- Driver’s license
- Social Security card
- Copies of current personal care plans, such as
- Advance directives (e.g., behavioral health, living wills and power of attorney forms)
- Asthma action plan
- Food allergy and anaphylaxis care plan
- Complete care plan
- Cancer survivorship care plans
- Emergency care plan for children with special health care needs
- Cash in small denominations and coins in case ATMs and pay-at-the-pump gasoline systems are out of order
- Copies of insurance cards and medical records, such as:
- Stay at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of disease.
- Use trusted resources to help you feel better. Talk to your doctor and visit the CDC Health Topic web site where you can learn about signs and symptoms of your illness and how to take care of your self.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when in public.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces.
Should I go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care Center?
In a disaster, these resources will be caring for many sick and/or injured people. Signs that you should seek emergency care should be limited to:
|Primary Care Doctor||Urgent Care||Emergency Room|
|This is your regular trusted provider or provider group. Visit Primary Care for:||Urgent care facilities offer quick, effective care for minor injuries or illnesses that need urgent attention. Visit an urgent care center for:||Emergency room visits should be reserved for situations that could result in loss of life or limb if not treated immediately. Seek emergency care for:|
Once you start feeling better, you can:
- Wash your hands. As you get to feeling better, your body is still recovering. Germs are always looking for the chance to make us sick again, so keeping your hands clean (and away from your eyes and mouth) can help keep them away.
- Use a humidifier. A humidifier might help prevent a sinus infection after a cold or the flu by adding moisture to dry air. Be sure to keep it clean so you can breathe easy!
- Don't overdo it. Just because you're feeling better doesn't always mean you should jump back in at 100%. Take short walks while you're on the mend, but don't overdo it.
- Reduce stress. Your immune system is vulnerable after a bout of the flu or a cold. Once your fever has broken, it should stay gone for at least 24 hours without needing to take medicine to reduce a fever. Don't rush back into it!
- Consider wearing a mask. Once you are over being sick, you don't want to pick up another illness, especially a respiratory illness. If you are comfortable, you may choose to wear a mask
- Check in with your primary care provider. Just a simple call or note through your patient portal can give you peace of mind. Stay in touch with your support system, to include your trusted care provider, to let them know how you're feeling.
More info on Public Health and Illnesses at Ready.gov in: