Disasters and Chronic Disease
The devastating flooding in West Virginia has highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness measures for those with chronic diseases. People with chronic disease could experience the exacerbation of a chronic illness, such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases, due to disaster-related stress, interruption of care, or both.
The Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease has compiled this list of resources we hope will be helpful.
During natural disasters, emergencies, and hazards people with diabetes face particular challenges to their health care. If you are an evacuee or are in an emergency situation, it is of prime importance to identify yourself as a person with diabetes and any related conditions, so you can obtain appropriate care. It is also important to prevent dehydration by drinking enough fluids, which can be difficult when drinking water is in short supply. In addition, it is helpful to keep something containing sugar with you at all times, in case you develop hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). To prevent infections, which people with diabetes are more vulnerable to, pay careful attention to the health of your feet, and get medical treatment for any wounds.