US COPD Coalition

Disaster Planning for Individuals with Chronic Disease


Having a plan for when disaster strikes is good advice for everyone, but the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) suggests that it is particularly important for those with chronic illness. The CDC offers advice on how to prepare. Recommendations include:

  • Make an emergency plan and emergency kit. Keep at least three days supply of food, water, and medicine on hand.
  • If you need to leave your home, know where to go (e.g., family members house, shelter) and be prepared to leave quickly. Have medicines, medical records, insurance information, and healthcare provider’s information, with you.
  • Ask your doctor for an extra supply of prescribed medicines, and have a list of all prescription medicines (including name, dose, and pharmacy information). If staying in a shelter or temporary housing, tell the staff about your health problems, special needs and any medicines you are taking.
  • Keep medicines, supplies, and equipment out of the heat and in a safe and waterproof location. If you use medical equipment that works with electricity, learn How to Prepare and Handle Power Outages.
  • Check if the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) is activated after a disaster. This free service helps residents get medicine, medical supplies, medical equipment and vaccines that were lost, stolen, or damaged due to the disaster. Call 855-793-7470 to enroll or visit the EPAP website. Check RX Open to find open pharmacies.

Click here to see the full list of CDC recommendations.