NEW ORLEANS - Ochsner is continuing its preparations in anticipation of T.S. Gustav. At this time, all Ochsner Medical Centers and neighborhood health centers will remain open with the exception of the Ochsner Pediatric Health Center in Destrehan, 1970 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan, LA. Ochsner Clinic Destrehan will be closed tomorrow, Saturday, August 30, 2008; all appointments have been cancelled. Pediatric patients needing an appointment may call Ochsner Health Center in Metairie, 4901 Veterans Blvd. at 504-887-1133.
All other Ochsner New Orleans neighborhood health centers that regularly hold Saturday hours will be open from 8am - 12pm for urgent care appointments.
At this time, we urge all community residents to prepare a medical evacuation kit with insurance cards, physician phone numbers, a list of allergies, medications, and dosages, and extra medications.
Additional preparations taken in expectation of Gustav and a potential evacuation include the following:
- Identified Ochsner Team-A and Team-B physician and employee staffing should there be an evacuation
- Ochsner is communicating regularly with state and local leaders
- All Ochsner hospitals are prepared with medical supplies and essentials to withstand the next two weeks
- Ochsner's Emergency web page activated (http://www.ochsner.org/) to provide medical evacuation information
- Medical Center will house 60 Jefferson Parish police officers and 60 firefighters on site
"Being aware of your anxiety is the first step in getting a healthy perspective on the situation," says Dr. Dean Hickman, Psychiatrist at Ochsner. He recommends the following tips for reducing "natural disaster stress":
- Don't feed the frenzy by thinking about "what if" scenarios or conversations.
- Don't listen to the radio or TV on a non-stop basis.
- Be prepared for disasters. Have a pre-determined plan and necessary supplies ready.
- Try to "let your anxiety go." Turn on soft music, watch a funny video or meditate.
"By managing your anxiety, you will, in turn, help your children to manage their own," explains Dr. Hickman. Calm, supportive reactions from parents in anticipation of evacuations/crises, will go a long way to alleviate stress responses in children. "It's also important to let children know you're prepared and have a plan. Children will feel relieved if they feel the adults in their lives have taken reasonable precautions to protect them from harm," says Hickman.