Medicines a must for cyclone kits

21 December 2011

The cyclone season is not a time to let essential medications run low, or to become out of date or for prescriptions to expire according to Royal Darwin Hospital Director of Pharmacy, Bhavini Patel.

"For people who require regular medication to manage conditions like high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes, being stuck without for a few days could pose a serious health risk," Ms Patel said.

"It's also important for people who suffer from a condition such as epilepsy, or are likely to have anaphylactic reactions, to keep emergency medicines with them in the event of being cut off by a cyclone.

"While most of us need to remember the torch, battery radio and tinned food, people who require regular or emergency medications should be sure to include these in their cyclone kits."

Cyclone kits should also include a basic first aid kit - you may not be able to leave the safety of your house if you are injured, and it could take longer for emergency services to reach you in the event of a cyclone.

Planning emergency water supplies of ten litres of clean drinking water per person daily is also essential in the event that town water is cut off.

Cyclone preparedness should factor in enough food to sustain the household for at least three days. The Department of Health has created an emergency food list (below) which provides enough nutritious non-perishable food to see a family of four through a cyclone.

Families with babies and small children must include everything they need to get through three days without the opportunity to run to the shops - so formula, nappies and baby food all need to be included.

*The Northern Territory Government's website SecureNT is the official 'one stop shop' for all information about emergency events, including cyclones. It carries the latest advice on health, roads, power & water and other services as well as updated weather information -

Media Contact: Bridget Wild 89 992 818 or 0401 116 203

Food safety guidelines

You can supplement your emergency food kit by utilising food in your refrigerator and freezer but if power has failed for longer than a day, food in refrigerators may be unsafe to eat.

Tips for consuming refrigerated/frozen food safely during power outage:
 - Don't open your fridge or freezer door unnecessarily.
 - Eat perishable foods in your fridge first (such as dairy or meat) as they will spoil faster than frozen food.
 - Food in the freezer will start to thaw unless freezer was previously stocked with ice.
 - Partly thawed food should be eaten immediately, or may be cooked thoroughly and refrozen or refrigerated but do not refreeze    partly thawed food.

72 Hour Emergency Kit Shopping List
For a family of four (2 adults and 2 children)

Essential food items:


750g breakfast cereal e.g. weetbix, natural muesli

5 packets low-fat 2 minute noodles

500g rice

250g dehydrated potato

500g pasta

Stir through pasta sauce

5x250g packets dry biscuits

500g processed cheddar cheese

6x420g assorted can vegetables

425g can tuna

2x440g baked beans

4x425g cans meat and vegetable ready meals

6x30g dried fruit

3x825g assorted cans fruit

4 litres UHT milk or 500g powdered milk

450g tinned leg ham


60 litres water (5 litres per person per day)



peanut butter, vegemite, jam, honey

nuts and/or dried fruit

1 litre UHT custard

packet soup mix

tea, coffee, milo or alternative

snack bars e.g. plain muesli bars

1 kg self raising flour

2 litre long life fruit juice

1kg sugar

plain sweet biscuits