Weathering a Storm When You Have a Chronic ConditionAuthor: Diplomat Pharmacy Date: January 02, 2020
Inclement weather can cause power outages, flooding, or damage to your home. These can be serious issues for anyone, but people who are living with a chronic condition have special considerations and preparation is especially important. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a large storm.
- Pack a bag with clothes, water, an emergency radio, and a flashlight.
- Check flashlight and emergency radio batteries and keep extras on hand.
- Store at least two days’ worth of water for each person in the house.
- Charge your cell phone. Portable chargers should be ready for use, if needed.
- Keep emergency health information readily available, including contact information (personal, emergency, and doctor), medical history, and medication list.
- If you have a generator, make sure it works and that you have enough fuel to run it for three days.
- Locate shelters nearby so you can go to one if you lose power. If you evacuate your home, tell your family and friends where you’re going. To find your nearest shelter, you can:
- Visit redcross.org/get-help
- Text SHELTER and your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA)
- Download the FEMA app by visiting fema.gov/mobile-app.
- Have extra water on hand if you need to mix formula.
- Have your doctor write a letter stating your reliance on medical equipment. This can be helpful in restoring power to your home faster.
- Call your local utility company if you lose power. Request to be put on the priority list for reconnection based on your medical condition.
- Ask your nearby police and fire departments and hospital if you could use them as a backup for your equipment power if your backup systems fail.
- Charge all enteral pumps, infusion pumps, and backup battery packs (if you have them).
- Label your equipment with your name, address, and phone number.
- Put all ice packs in the freezer and have a cooler on hand if you lose power and need to keep medications cold. These ice packs will also help your fridge stay colder longer.
- Review your medication supplies to ensure you have enough to last until a few days after the storm is over. If you are scheduled to have supplies delivered during the storm, contact your infusion company to see if you can reschedule your shipment. Remember that conditions in your area might be affected by the storm’s aftermath for days or even weeks.
- Check volumes of your medications and refill any that might run out in the next week.
- If your medication is light sensitive, keep it in the original packaging to help protect your treatment from light.
- Create a plan for where you will go if you lose power. Seek out a hospital or emergency room with generator capabilities to store treatment that requires refrigeration.
- Check all your medical equipment to ensure that a power shortage or outage didn’t affect the settings.
Preparation for Infusion Patients
In addition to the general preparedness tips above, you might need to take some additional medical precautions if you’re on nutrition support or immune globulin replacement therapy. These conditions often require devices such as battery-operated pumps or refrigeration for treatments. See our tips below to help keep your medication and supplies viable during a storm.
When the Power Returns
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