“It could have been so much worse,” PHA’s New Orleans area support group leader Linda Gates says following Hurricane Barry last weekend. “The electricity was only out for a couple of hours, so I didn’t lose the food in the freezer,” Linda also reports. “We were lucky that the large amount of rain predicted didn’t come, and we didn’t get a flood.” And Linda was not just worried about her own home. She checked on her support group members and reports that “most of our support group members had no problems.”
Thankfully no major issues were reported over the weekend by PHA community members living in affected areas. Knowing how serious it can be to lose power or access to medical care, it is important to check on community members and share information on disaster preparedness from the PHA website.
This emergency checklist for individuals with PH includes tips on stocking up on necessities, acquiring extra medication and oxygen, and contact information for specialty pharmacies. With hurricane season lasting until November 30, patients and families are encouraged to use this preparedness information now to plan ahead.
PHA outreach to disaster- or potential disaster-affected areas has been critical in recent years. During hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, it was necessary to amplify medical center messages about safe havens and evacuation protocols, distribute medication override codes used only in natural disasters, and connect patients to medical and financial resources during the events and throughout the recovery.
“The information on the website is great for patients to be reminded of what to do,” says Linda, who also has PH. She appreciated having all the information on disasters in one place and plans to share it with her support group members.
“I’m going to encourage people to print it out and put it with their important papers that they take with them if they need to evacuate,” says Linda. “Thanks to everyone at PHA for keeping us safe and informed.”