Safe in the Eye of the Storm, Preparedness for Hurricane Florence
The “EYE” of a hurricane is the center area of the storm where the winds are mostly calm. The name comes from its similar appearance to the human eye. Like the human eye, the storm’s eye is normally circular. The center has thinner cloud coverage allowing the sky to show through and often appearing as a blue or grey-blue iris. The iris is the structure of the eye that is pigmented to give us “baby blues” or another color. The contrast of dense clouds around the eye of the storm appears similarly to the sclera (the white part of the eye). In the storm this is called the eyewall. This is usually where the most severe winds and severe weather are found.
Storm terms have become popular idioms in the English language. To “step into the eye of the storm” means to be in the middle of whatever situation is at hand. Usually it is used to refer to an intense situation. To be “against the storm wall” is akin to being “up against the wall” or to be in a perilous situation where you may be keeping things at bay, but there is no apparent way out. To be “safe in the eye of the storm” means to be protected from what is happening around you.
As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast of the United States, some astronauts have taken some incredible pictures that show her eye clearly. The National Weather Radar Service has issued many warnings to the areas directly and indirectly in her path. West Georgia Eye Care Center physicians and staff are praying for the people that will be affected. We, like so many others feel helpless to do much more than wait, and continue praying. But, we can offer some eye care preparedness advice for those facing this and future storms.
- Have a back-up pair of glasses. Winds and other storm hazards can damage or separate you from your glasses. Have the back-up pair close at hand.
- Have extra contacts, solutions and cases. If you are running low on contacts and the storms keep you from getting to your provider, you may be tempted to wear an old pair beyond the safest time period.
- Keep a copy of your glasses or contacts RX on file. In the case of temporary relocation or other storm related event, this is good information to have with other pertinent medical records. A great method is to take a photo of the package with your cell phone.
- Have a good supply of eye drops. If you use eye drops for glaucoma or another eye disease or condition, try to get a refill ahead of the storm.
- If you suffer an eye injury during the storm administer proper first aid and call your eye care provider. The most common eye injury during storms is wind-blown particles in the eye. Here is what to do:
- Irrigate, Irrigate, Irrigate. Flush the eye with a gentle rinse of clean water, saline solution or eye wash. Flushing the foreign body out of the eye will prevent further injury. (Another way to irrigate the eye is under a gentle stream from the shower.)
- If you are wearing a contact lens, remove it. Debris can sometimes be trapped underneath the contact lens.
- If the eye remains irritated, call your eye care provider.