By Stephanie Simons,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire
Bermuda’s hurricane season runs from June until November each year, which is why Hurricane Preparedness Week is being held in the last week of May. This is a time for islanders to take the time to consider what their plan is in the event of a major storm. While many of us have weathered previous hurricanes, it always pays to be vigilant. There may be new factors to consider that you didn’t have to in the last hurricane season, such as having recently moved, having a new pet or a new addition to the family.
As part of your plans for the stormy season, you should take stock of your hurricane supplies and ensure that it includes a full first aid kit. In fact, every home should have one of these, not only during hurricane season. This can be built from scratch or you can buy a pre-packed one from Curad. The benefit of building one yourself is that you can fill it with items that are relevant to your household and use brands that you prefer. We recommend using an air tight container to store the ‘ingredients’ of your first aid kit.
You can get children involved in the process of making a first aid kit by inviting them to choose fun plasters from our selection, including Band-Aid’s Disney Characters selection and Curad’s Sesame Street and Camo selection. Additionally, assembling a first aid kit is a good opportunity to sit down with younger members of the family and discuss the basics of first aid, infections and the importance of hygiene.
The foundation of every good first aid kit is the bandages. The National Hurricane Survival Initiative recommends that each first aid kit should be stocked with a minimum of twenty band aids (of various sizes), two triangular bandages (for slings), two rolls of cohesive bandages, a roll of gauze, a sterile dressing, adhesive tape and at least four sterile gauze pads.
In addition to the bandages, a good first aid kit also needs antiseptic wipes, saline solution, hand sanitiser, a couple of pairs of medical gloves, antibacterial ointment and a cold pack – an instant one (made by Cara) can be kept in the kit and even a re-usable one (Nexcare) which you can keep in the freezer. You should also include a pair of scissors and tweezers. These supplies will help you to treat cuts, grazes and swellings.
Finally, a good first aid kit should contain some pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil, and any other medication that is regularly used, Benadryl, for instance. I would also recommend Optrex, which will help to wash out sand, dust or anything else that you might get in your eye.
As well as these generic medications, ahead of a hurricane you should ensure that family members have a good supply of any prescription medication they may need during a hurricane and for the days after. However, most pharmacies will typically re-open very quickly after a storm.
For those who don’t want to assemble their own first aid kit, Lindo’s offers two sizes of readymade ones from Curad. These come in two sizes: complete (with 175 pieces) and compact (75 pieces). These are handy and affordable, although you may wish to add to them with any medications or supplies that you need prefer.
In addition to your new first aid kit, you should also ensure that you have bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries, a radio and a flashlight. All of these can be bought at Lindo’s and a member of staff will be happy to help you if you need assistance in finding them.
While there is no need to worry excessively about the possibility of hurricanes, having an effective first aid kit in your home will help you set your mind at rest and may come in handy all year round, particularly if you enjoy boating or camping.
Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.