The Importance of CONTINUITY: People with Chronic Cough and Other Chronic Medical Conditions Require Special Preparation Before, During & After a Hurricane

Right on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, our State of Florida is in harm’s way from Hurricane Irma.  While Irma’s path  is unknown at this writing, many Floridians and specifically, many of Dr. Mandel Sher’s Chronic Cough patients on the Gulf Coast of Florida, East Coast of Florida, throughout the State of Florida and Southeast region of the United States will be affected.  So, we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The Importance of Continuity: People with Chronic Cough and other Chronic Medical Conditions Require Special Preparation Before, During & After a Hurricane. 

People with Persistent Cough often have more than one Chronic Medical Condition.  For example, Asthma is a Chronic Respiratory Condition that acts as an irritant and triggers Chronic Cough.  It is vitally important to the health and welfare of people with Chronic Medical Conditions to be vigilant before, during, and after a hurricane, especially about medications.

Please abide by the universal preparedness guidelines for a hurricane.  In addition, if you or someone you love has a Chronic Medical Condition, then please consider the following  tips to optimize Continuity during a disaster:  People with Chronic Cough and other Chronic Medical Conditions Require Special Preparation Before, During & After a Hurricane:  

  • Medication Continuity & Supply: Interruption of medication regimens before, during, and after a storm was the single largest contributor to acute illnesses and Emergency Room visits during Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.  Medication supply and/or your access to a pharmacy for medication refills may be limited before, during and after a hurricane.  Be sure to have enough medication on-hand to last the entire storm period including the aftermath and cleanup.
  • Early Evacuation: Community evacuation shelters can be particularly hard for older people or people chronic medical conditions.  Sleep conditions, food and water, and personal hygiene may be compromised.  Infections may be spread.  If evacuation is anticipated, please consider evacuating early to a safe destination to avoid the trauma associated with moving to and living in a shelter.
  • Medication Knowledge: Keep a list of your medications with you.  If your physician or hospital is inaccessible during and after a disaster, you may not have access to your medical record.
  • Expectations for Your Chronic Cough: Hurricanes may introduce or exaggerate environmental irritants that stimulate Cough frequency and intensity.  Be aware of increased dryness, throat tickle and urge to cough.
  • Minimize DisasterRelated Stress: Stress exacerbates underlying bodily functions which in turn increases the severity of the Chronic Medical Condition.  For example, consider the adverse impact of stress on blood pressure and hypertension.  Hurricanes can be traumatic and disaster-related stress is a likely consequence.  So, while it may not be possible to avoid, try to minimize.
  • Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude and Be Kind to One Another: After all, it can always be worse.

Dear Center for Cough patients and fellow Floridians, stay safe.  Here’s to you and yours good health and welfare.  Dr. Mandel Sher and Center for Cough team:  727-393-8067.