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Surviving the storm

This is the start of the official hurricane season and already we have experienced the first of hopefully not many systems. During the build up to the impending storm, we were given loads of advice on how to prepare for and to survive such a system. As your friendly neighbourhood pharmacist, I guess it is expected that I give some pearls of wisdom.

Since a hurricane can lead to disrupted service from your pharmacy or even evacuation, it is crucial to have extra doses of your medication on hand. In preparation for hurricane season, you or your family should assemble a disaster supply kit filled with necessities including food, water and medication. According to the American Red Cross, your disaster supply kit should contain a 7-day supply of medications as well as other medical supplies your family members require:

* Catheters

* Syringes

* Hearing aids with extra batteries

* Eye glasses

* Contact lenses and solution

* Mobility aids like canes or walkers

* Medication list with names, dosage and indications

* Imodium or Loperamide tablets for diarrhea

* Gravinate or Gravol tablets or liquid for vomiting

Talk to your pharmacist on arranging for an extra supply of your medicine during hurricane season. As mentioned earlier at least a seven-day supply would be good.

Some prescription medications require refrigeration; others may not, but could get damaged by excessive heat. Talk to your pharmacist now about how to handle your medications if the power goes out. Have that list made up of your medicines and keep it with you inside a waterproof Ziploc bag, and give a copy to a relative in another part of the country. You may consider laminating it or making a pocket- or wallet-sized version and carry it with you all the time.

Although you have your medicines in their containers with labels from the pharmacy, get some small Ziploc bags and place a seven-day reserve supply in each bag. Label each bag with the name and the directions of the medicine. This supply is to be kept on your person in another Ziploc bag, in case you unfortunately are forced to evacuate in a hurry.

Your normal supply should be stored in that large Ziploc bag with the other things.

Being prepared by keeping a supply of your much-needed medications is an essential part of your hurricane-ready strategy.

Read or listen to the radio for more tips on staying safe during a hurricane and please do not complain when the warnings become only warnings, thank God we were spared.

The editor would be calling me if I only submitted the above, so I have to add something else.

I read an article earlier this week, which suggested that taking Omega-3 fish oil supplements may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 70 per cent!

Researchers at Ohio State University have been looking at results from a study conducted on persons using oily fish such as Salmon or using Omega-3 supplements. The article does not offer any definitive theory, so we will leave that, until more is known.

Watch this space for more information concerning this.

Before I go, a few need-to-knows for the Crop-Over season:

* The Birth Control Pill reduces your alcohol tolerance (you get drunk faster ).

* Advil stops sunburn in its tracks (not for asthmatics or people allergic to aspirin).

* Eating a cold banana before jumping gives you stamina.

Until next week.

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