Chronic Illness and Natural Disasters (and a request from Hurricane Sandy Victim!)

Remember how we’re all going to die in the zombie apocalypse? As strongly as I feel that will happen, it’s not the same for other natural disasters.

I know this because I’ve been through quite a few of them, personally.

I live in South Florida, so hurricanes are about as common to me as snow days in Alaska. Back in 2004 (or was it 2005?) we had three major hurricanes all in a row. Worst summer ever, and really nerve-wracking for me, especially. Like many with rare/chronic illnesses, I’m asthmatic and drastic changes in humidity and barometric pressure can really intensify my symptoms. Although I have a portable nebulizer, it doesn’t pump with as much gusto as my electric one. We didn’t have a generator, so often I had to plug it in at a guard gate with a generator, a grocery store, or wherever else that happened to get power in the aftermath of the storm.

Like any weatherman and reporter will tell you: the key to safety during the storm is preparation. Here is a short list of to-do’s for people with chronic illness before a storm hits.

  1. Refill your prescriptions; all of them! Even if you haven’t used them in a while. Have a cooler with ice and ice packs for medication that needs refrigeration.
  2. Keep an emergency ID, list of medications and list of your doctors with you.
  3. Prepare a bag with water, your medicine, information, food, cell phone and charger, extra clothes and any other med equipment you might need. Keep this bag in the same room with you at all times during the storm—just in case you need to change locations.
  4. If you rely on electric support, oxygen, or any other equipment that can’t be fueled by batteries—or that you believe you may need after the power is out—contact your local power company and alert them so they are aware of your location and can put you on a high priority list for getting the power back.
  5. Discuss with your doctor whether or not it is safer for you to check into a hospital during the storm to prevent instability during a major episode.

For more tips and advice check out the CDC’s Guides for Patients during Natural Disasters at the following link: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/chronic.asp.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a call has been put out to the P.O.T.S group on Facebook to send aid for a fellow P.O.T.S patient who is in need of supplies. Lauren Stiles writes,

Dear POTSies,

One of our fellow POTSies in Long Island, New York has lost her home and everything in it during Hurricane Sandy. She barely escaped with her life, and is grateful to be alive. But now she has nothing. It will be months before insurance and FEMA assistance arrives, and even that won’t cover everything.

I know you are all struggling with your health and many of you are under financial strain too. But if you have any clothes you could donate to this lovely young lady, she really needs it. She is joking that she doesn’t want to give anyone a naked show without making them pay for it first. 😉
She literally escaped her flooding house with only the clothes on her back, so anything anyone can do would be very much appreciated. She’s very tall and very thin, so here are her sizes:
-Tops, sizes XXS, XS, and S. Any M’s or L’s can be used as nightshirts.
-Jeans, sizes 0 and 1. Regular and Tall length are fine, but not Short. Any style is fine, skinny, bootcut, flare, etc.
-Shoes, boots, flats, heels, dressy, whatever, sizes 8 and 8 1/2.
-Pajama pants, sizes XXS, XS, and S.
-Coats, sizes XXS, XS, S, 0, and 1.
-Hoodies, sizes XXS, XS, and S.
-Sweaters (long, short, and regular sweater tops), sizes XXS, XS, S, 0, and 1.

You can mail clothes to the address where she is temporarily living.
Attn: Margaret R.
2625 Cornwell Place
Oceanside, NY 11572

I know she would be eternally grateful for anything anyone donates, whatever condition it is in. She said she feels horrible even asking, so that is why I asked on her behalf. If you stick in a note letting her know you are a fellow POTSie, I bet that would make her smile.

Thanks!

 

Any assistance is appreciated. Stay safe!

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