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Tips for Cancer Patients How to Prepare for Hurricane Season


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I posted this last year and with thought it would be a good reminder again now. Thoughts and prayers to ALL of our members in the paths of these storms.


Tips for Cancer Patients: How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Preparing for Disaster When You Have Cancer

By Lisa Fayed, About.com

Updated: June 19, 2007

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

If you live on the east coast of the United States, you know that June 1st officially begins hurricane season. This time of year the public hurries to prepare for the worst by stocking up on canned goods, batteries, and bottled water. Cancer patients are no different, however they must take several extra precautions when preparing for the hurricane season.

Before Disaster Strikes

Talk to Your Doctor. If you live in an area affected by the hurricane season, talk to your doctor about the course of action you should take if you need to evacuate your home. Your doctor may be able to advise you of local hurricane shelters that are able to adequately able to provide care to cancer patients.

Keep a Brief Record of Your Medical History Ask your doctor to write down a brief medical history or do so yourself. Include information like current medications you take and the dosage. Keep it in a waterproof bag like plastic zip bag and keep it on hand. Also be sure to include any over the counter medications you take.

Keep a record of your doctors and their contact information. Write down the name of your doctor, the office address, phone numbers, and if possible, the doctor your doctor recommends when he is not available. Store this with your medical history.

Obtain copies of your prescriptions. Your doctor may be able to give you copies of prescriptions that can be filled in emergent situations. In some cases, extra medication can be dispensed to the patient. If you are evacuated to a different city, a local hospital or retail pharmacy should be able to fill the prescription.

Gather documentation stating that all leased and owned medical equipment belongs to you. Having written verification can make it easier for emergency health care providers to verify your equipment. You can do this by making copies of the lease agreement, bill of sale, or prescription by the doctor. If your equipment has been lost and located, you will need this documentation to claim it. Also be sure to clearly label all your equipment with your contact information.

Find the numbers to the local American Cancer Society offices in your area and also for the city you are evacuating to. The American Cancer Society1 can be your ultimate resource for finding help. These numbers can be found in your telephone book or online. Keep these numbers with your medical records for quick reference.

Verify insurance coverage in other areas beforehand. Call your insurance agency to find out what coverage you have in other areas and what doctors or hospitals you are available to use. This is especially helpful if you know what city you may evacuate to.

Keep all medicines with you in a waterproof container. Store medications in a large, gallon-sized freezer bag that can be sealed. Label the bag with your name, current address, and phone number. If you know the address or phone number to where you are evacuating to, add that information to the label. Place a copy of your medical history in the bag. Your medicine bag should be kept with other medical history documents at all times.

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