If you suffer from a lung disease, you may be at an increased risk during an emergency or disaster situation due to loss of access to health care, medication refills, electrical power or oxygen supply. This makes planning for emergencies all the more important for those with lung diseases. Use these tips to help you get started, but consult your doctor for advice specific to your condition.
- Equipment – Keep a list of all your equipment and supplier information, including their phone number and address. If you use a nebulizer, see if you can get an inhaler for the same medication in case of a power outage. If you use an oxygen concentrator, ask for a backup oxygen supply that does not require electricity.
- Information – Keep important numbers and medical information, such as a list of medications you take and dosage information, oxygen supplier information and doctor’s information with you, and consider carrying them in something waterproof or getting them laminated.
- Emergency Kit – Assemble an emergency kit that should include (depending on what your condition requires):
- At least a 14-day medication supply
- Water and non-perishable food supply
- Flashlight, radio, extra batteries and backup power supplies, depending on what your equipment requires.
- Blankets and pillows
- Backup oxygen cylinder, if needed.
- Supplies for cleaning respiratory equipment
While it may be hard during an emergency or disaster to stay calm, it is important to try, as emotional stress increases your heart rate and quickens breathing, making breathing more challenging and using more oxygen.