Hurricane Precautions for Expectant Moms
Hurricane season can be a stressful time for everyone, but especially for expectant mothers. To help reduce your stress, and get you storm-ready, Memorial has prepared a list of helpful suggestions. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and safer you and your baby will be.
Before the Storm
- Maintain a list of all your current medications, including prenatal vitamins. Keep this list in a re-sealable plastic bag, along with any important documents and personal belongings that you plan to take with you, if you must evacuate.
- Keep at least a two-week supply of all of your current medications in the event you must relocate. Place your medications in a re-sealable plastic bag to keep them dry and to protect the information on the labels in case you need to obtain refills.
- Always keep your medications in their original prescription bottles. If there is an emergency declaration that allows pharmacies to refill medications, you will need your prescription or the original bottle.
- Make sure you always keep on hand a stash of your necessary medical supplies, such as diabetic test strips, syringes, etc.
When a Storm Threatens
- If you plan to leave town, bring a copy of your medical record, including the prenatal record, immunizations and current medications.
- If you are 38 or more weeks pregnant or are having complications in your pregnancy, speak with your health care provider about whether you should leave the area prior to the storm, whether it is safe for you to remain at home, or whether it would be better for you to go to a hospital or community shelter.
- If your health care provider recommends that you shelter at the hospital, please note that you must be registered to give birth at the sheltering hospital.
Criteria for sheltering at a participating Memorial hospital:
Expectant mothers who have registered to give birth at a participating Memorial hospital and who are at 38 weeks or greater gestational age; or are having complications in their pregnancy.
If you meet the criteria for sheltering at the hospital:
- You will be able to bring one adult family member or friend with you. Space is very limited. No additional companions will be allowed, so make sure sheltering arrangements are made for other members of your household, if needed.
- Only service animals designated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), currently dogs and miniature horses, are allowed. Any animals not designated by the ADA as recognized service animals, including emotional support animals, are not permitted.
- While staying in the hospital, you must follow all COVID-19 guidelines that are in place. Everyone will be required to wear a mask at all times while in the hospital. You may bring your own non-vented masks, otherwise, the hospital will provide one.
- Please arrive no later than four (4) hours before hurricane force winds are expected to make landfall. Remember that once winds reach sustained 40 - 45 mph, police and fire rescue will not be able to respond for help
- Free parking is available at the hospital’s Visitor Parking Area for those who meet the sheltering criteria.
- You should also bring the following items, labeled with your name.
- All registration information
- Bedding (e.g., air mattress, sleeping bag, pillow)
- Water and food for approximately four (4) days
- Changes of clothing for approximately four (4) days
- Mobile phone and charger
- Books, magazines, tablets with charger for entertainment
- All necessary medications, labeled and in their original containers (the hospital cannot provide medication to persons who are sheltering)
These Memorial hospitals have maternity services and are prepared to shelter expectant mothers who are 38 or more weeks pregnant or are having complications in their pregnancy:
Memorial Regional Hospital
3501 Johnson Street
Memorial Hospital West
703 North Flamingo Road
Memorial Hospital Miramar
1901 Southwest 172 Avenue
After the Storm
Injuries can often occur after the hurricane has passed. Be very careful to remain hydrated and to get sufficient rest. Dehydration can induce premature labor. To prevent dehydration and exhaustion follow these suggestions:
- Drink plenty of water or beverages that do not contain alcohol or caffeine.
- Take cool showers or sponge bath and try to stay in air conditioned areas, if possible.
- If you cannot avoid being outside, bring ample water and an umbrella to provide shade. Use appropriate insect repellent and sunscreen.
- Do not lift heavy objects.
- Avoid over-exertion and take frequent breaks.
- Keep all doctor appointments. If you are concerned about your or your baby’s health, contact your health care provider, or visit an urgent care center or emergency room immediately. If necessary, call 911.
- In case of a power outage, use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns, rather than candles with open flames. If you are using a generator, be sure that it is properly placed away from your building, that it is appropriately ventilated, and that you use a carbon monoxide detector to prevent injury.