Natural Disasters and Asthma
Natural disasters can cause asthma attacks through triggers like stress and mold exposure. They can also make it harder for someone to control their asthma or access their medications. There are steps you can take before, during, and after a disaster to keep asthma under control.
Before a Disaster
Stock up on asthma supplies needed including:
- 3-day supply on asthma medications.
- Copies of important documents (i.e., asthma action plans, insurance cards, and immunization records). Keep electronic and paper copies.
- Equipment you may need to use when cleaning up after the storm (i.e., N95 respirators, goggles, protective gloves, and waterproof boots).
Identify ways to reduce or cope with stress. Stress can be a trigger for asthma.
During a Disaster
- Avoid common asthma triggers during the disaster:
- Wash hands properly,
- Avoid exposure to mold, dust, and other triggers,
- Avoid stress or identify ways to cope with it.
- Follow your Asthma Action Plan.
- Know how to use your medications.
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about safe generator use for breathing treatments from the CDC: Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After an Emergency.
After a Disaster
- Practice good hygiene, especially washing hands during and after a disaster.
- Avoid areas with mold growth. Learn how to recognize mold and clean it up safely. Mold Clean-Up Guide | CDC
Tips and Resources
Tip: If your child uses a nebulizer, look at getting a portable version. Many of these adapt to a car’s 12V accessory power outlet.