If you are on medication, please be sure you have what you need in the event the hurricane comes through this area. In addition, the American Lung Association issued extra precautionary steps for the 2,537,043 Florida residents that live with a chronic lung disease like asthma, COPD and lung cancer.
- Create an Asthma or COPD Travel Pack. Those with chronic lung disease are encouraged to gather all of their medications, delivery devices, prescriptions and insurance cards in one spot so that can quickly be transported in the event of an evacuation.
- Prepare oxygen therapy devices for possible evacuation or power outage. For individuals on supplemental oxygen, make sure you have a back-up tank and back-up power source. Check with the instructions or product manufacturer to make sure the back-up power source will work for your device. Let your power company and emergency responders know you are using a medical device that needs power.
- If you stay at home and lose power, be careful. Never cook indoors with portable gasoline- or diesel-powered generators, gas stoves, charcoal stoves, grills, portable camping stoves, and other devices. These produce carbon monoxide that can kill if it builds up indoors.
- Keep an eye on symptoms. Floodwaters often contain sewage, chemicals and garbage, leaving dangerous debris and making breathing more difficult. If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your physician immediately. Symptoms to watch out for include wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty taking a full breath, chest heaviness, lightheadedness, and dizziness.
- Ask for help. The American Lung Association’s Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNGUSA is staffed by nurses and respiratory therapists and is a free resource to answer any questions about the lungs, lung disease and lung health, including how to protect yourself during a hurricane.