Lung Association Urges Hawaii Residents to Take Precautions in Advance of Hurricane Lane
(August 23, 2018) - HONOLULU
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With the chance of Hurricane Lane hitting Hawaii, it’s imperative that residents of Hawaii prepare themselves in advance to protect their health. The American Lung Association has resources to stay safe before and after the storm.
Before the storm:
- Preparation is key. Hurricanes offer more warning, so evacuate as soon as your community is ordered to do so.
- Identify and protect vulnerable populations, which include children, the elderly and anyone with chronic diseases or a suppressed immune system.
- As you prepare for Hurricane Lane, if you or a loved one has a chronic lung disease, make sure to keep your medication and inhaler close by, as well as your medication instructions in one easily accessible place. Remember to have your insurance card and healthcare provider contact information.
- Ready.gov, an initiative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies, has information on preparing for hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other disasters.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency also has preparation advice.
After the storm:
- Stop the water intrusions first.
- Hurricanes can bring flooding. Do not drive through flooded waters.
- Do not walk into floodwaters, as they often include sewage and toxins in the water, especially in urban areas. Floodwaters there will include oil, diesel or gasoline, garbage, dead animals and chemicals that are caught up in the flooding.
- Avoid standing water as it is a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and mold. These can become airborne and be inhaled, putting people at risk for lung disease. Even when the flooding is due to a fairly clean source, such as rainwater, the growth of these microorganisms can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
- Helpful tips for returning home.
- More detailed information about common concerns in the cleanup can be found in Indoor Air Pollutants and Health
- Treatment for asthma, COPD or other lung diseases
We continue to monitor the situation closely and encourage anyone with questions about how Hurricanes and poor air quality affect your lung health to call our LUNG Helpline at 1-800-LUNG USA (800-586-4872) and press #2. The LUNG Helpline is available Monday - Friday from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. HST; Saturday and Sunday from 4 a.m. – 10 a.m. HST or visit www.lung.org to submit a question by email or chat.
This Helpline, staffed by healthcare professionals including nurses and respiratory therapists, is a free resource to help people with specific medical questions or to answer any questions about the lungs, lung disease and lung health.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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