Dealing with hurricanes

Hello everyone:

The people of Florida are dealing with the leftover issues of Hurricane Irma this week. As of yesterday, 7 million people did not have power or water in their homes. This can be very difficult in the midst of trying times  for folks who are dealing with elderly relatives.

Here are some quick tips:

Make sure that your elderly relative (and you personally, for that matter) remains hydrated. I hope you purchased extra supplies of water before the storm. If you have lost your power and have no means of ventilation in your home, they will “dry out” faster and have a greater need for fluids.

Try to have some movement of air in the house. If possible, open windows across from each other, so that you get some cross-ventilation going on there. If that doesn’t work so well, try to get your relative outside for some fresh air.  That was a bit difficult yesterday, since the outside temperature was in the 90s but today it is a little better, so do get him or her outside.  Fresh air, especially if it is accompanied by a breeze, can be rejuvenating.

If you also lost your water, then perhaps you cannot flush the toilets (hopefully, you collected some water in your bathtub before the storm and have a bucket handy. If not, please plan better next time). The rule of thumb would be to “not flush for number one” more than a couple of times a day. If you are a lady and need toilet paper, put your used paper in a Ziploc baggie and start a new baggie when the old one gets full. That way, when your water does come back, you won’t clog up your toilet with a lot of paper, but you can still use the normal amount when you visit the bathroom.

If you have a pool that has not been dirtied up by the storm, you can use that for bathing….sort of. The question becomes: Do I want to smell of sweat or chlorine? Your call on that one- I wouldn’t begin to tell you which one to choose!

The good news is that one of your neighbors might get power and water back before you do. How good of a friend are you? They may invite you over to bathe, which would be incredibly kind of them. If they do, please clean up after yourself and bring your own towels, if possible. Yes, you won’t be able to wash your towels afterwards but at least you will be showing yourself to be a good neighbor.

If you have some tips to share, I would love to hear your ideas!


Dr. Sheri

Veteran Hurricane Survivor

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