How to Prepare for the 2022 Caribbean Hurricane Season
During the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the AeroMD team had the opportunity to serve the Caribbean community. In the months that followed the back-to-back category five hurricanes, AeroMD completed more than 100 medical evacuation missions from the region. Maintaining communications without power and cell phone service was imperative. Lessons were gleaned from what crucial supplies made a difference in the U.S. Virgin Islands. To follow is a tried and tested list of emergency preparedness items to consider as part of hurricane preparation for the 2022 season:
When the grid is down from storm damage, harnessing the power of the sun is the most productive use of the natural resources year-round in the Caribbean. A solar generator can easily power home essentials such as a fridge, fan, light, and capability to charge a few devices like cell phones. In case of a fuel shortage on-island, solar generators are reliable and less expensive than their gas counterparts. Solar generators may be used in lieu of gas generators in conjunction with them for redundancy.
Goal Zero has excellent options for solar generators that start around $1500 for a basic setup. With distribution in neighboring Puerto Rico and freight forwarding options with VI Cargo or Paradise Freight, it is neither costly nor time-consuming to get Goal Zero products to the territory.
Cell phone towers are often one of the first things negatively impacted by tropical storms and hurricanes. Having a satellite phone (often abbreviated sat phone) can provide essential communications, particularly if you are sheltering with elderly persons or residents with high-risk medical conditions. It is also important to be able to communicate essential needs should you shelter in a remote location or heavily-wooded area with limited access roads.
Iridium satellite phones are a trusted name in the industry for reliability and durability. Inmarsat is a popular brand in the maritime industry. The Zoleo brand is helpful for text only satellite communication as a less expensive option.
Not all first-aid kits are created equal. This 72-hour survival kit from Sustain Supply Co. was ranked the best overall this year by Insider. It includes expansive first-aid supplies with duplicates to ensure hydration in the heat of the tropics. Future posts on the AeroMD.com blog will discuss more robust, custom kits.
For comprehensive lists of natural disaster supplies, visit these resources from The Red Cross and Ready.gov.
AeroMD Air Ambulance serves our neighbors throughout the Caribbean and worldwide.
“My best case for survival was to be taken off-island.”
Charles Jaquays, AeroMD Patient
“You guys saved [my husband's] life.”
Eileen des Jardins, Patient Companion
“If it wasn't for [AeroMD], I wouldn't be here today.”
Hayley Rodriguez, AeroMD Patient