Immediately after a storm, emergency departments tend to experience an increase in visits among people who are ill but have delayed seeking care because of the hurricane, he says. Snake bites, bee stings and trauma from chain saws and falls also tend to increase.
Snake bites and bee stings become more common, he says, because heavy rains and flooding tend to displace snakes and bees, who in turn are more likely to come into contact with people trying to clear downed trees and other debris.
As a result, the health system’s emergency departments are well stocked with anti-venom and epinephrine, which is typically used to counteract bee sting reactions. If you are bitten by a snake, try to remember the color and shape of the snake and relay it to your care team, Dr. Richmond says.