Health Problems Don’t Go Away in Emergencies

What if you needed oxygen or insulin, because of a certain medical condition, but suddenly had nowhere to find it because of a bad storm, earthquake or other disaster? Emergency preparedness officials in Texas warn that people with chronic health conditions should start planning, especially now that hurricane season has started.

In an article on the Houston Chronicle website, Cindy George says it’s best to prepare now, while people can think clearly and resources are plentiful, rather than after a storm hits. For weeks after Hurricane Ike in 2008, some people suffered extreme discomfort in the intense September heat, but for others the lack of power was life-threatening, says the article.

George recommends that people who depend on breathing machines, oxygen or heart pumps or other medical devices should have a plan that includes “stashing a supply of essential medications, preparing for on-the-road nursing aid and making arrangements to continue life-saving treatments elsewhere.” And Terry Moore, deputy emergency management coordinator with the city of Houston, recommended making arrangements to stay with family and friends because emergency shelters are “not the most comfortable places.”

To read the Houston Chronicle article, click here:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7030701.html