As Hurricane Matthew barrels toward the Florida coast, residents are bracing for what meteorologists project to be a category 4 storm with winds up to 140 mph. Experts expect Matthew to make landfall Thursday night.

Although Florida has a rigorous disaster plan in place and Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla) has urged some 2 million people to evacuate, storms can be unpredictable, and ensuring you’re prepared for the worst by having sufficient food, medication and hygiene products can help keep your family safe and healthy.

If you’re in or near the storm’s predicted path, be sure to take the following steps:


Have the following food and water available for use:

· One cooler for drinks and one for food

· Enough water to prove 1 gallon of water per day per person (at least a three-day supply total)

· Other bottled beverages

· Non-perishable food items, such as canned goods (at least a three-day supply)

·  Baby essentials (including food, formula, diapers and bottles)


Ensure you have sufficient hygiene and medical supplies:

· Soap

· Feminine hygiene products

· First aid kit

· Antiseptic solution

· Thermometer

· Tweezers

· Bandages

· Children’s, over-the-counter, and prescription medication

· Sunscreen and insect repellent spray

· Adhesive tape
 

More on this...

Don’t forget about pets:

· Have enough water for your pet (enough for three to seven days)

· Dry, non-perishable pet food

· Keep their favorite toy, blanket or pillow and calming aids accessible

· Make sure they have their tags

· For puppies, ensure you have training pads on hand

· Have a collar and/or harness, as well as a non-extendable leash accessible

· Carry a crate, carrier or tank if they use one, and maintain a clean litter box for cats

· Make sure their microchip has up-to-date info

· Keep heartworm medications and any other needed medications on hand

· Ensure their shots are up to date


For more ways to make sure your home is prepared for the storm, visit RedCross.org.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.