DISASTER TIP SHEET

Wildfires


Preparing Your Health for Wildfires

  • Fill prescriptions on time or ahead of time, if you can 
    • Call your pharmacist to ask if your prescriptions can be filled early 
  • Keep a list of your local healthcare facilities, with addresses, phone numbers, and emails/websites 
    • Consider these facilities:
      • Hospitals/ERs
      • Pharmacies
      • Urgent care clinics
      • Ancillary care: 
        • Dialysis Centers, Cancer Treatment centers
  • Keep a “go-bag” of emergency supplies ready, including your medications
    • Suggested items: first aid kit, flashlight, portable radio, NOAA weather radio, batteries, whistle, blankets, sanitation items, important documents, and cash if possible 
    • Pack all medications in a resealable, waterproof bag
  • Have an evacuation plan 
    • Identify back-up locations, such as the homes of loved ones or motels  
      • If you have pets, look for places that accept pets 
    • Plan several routes to your back-up locations 
    • Use RxOpen.org to locate pharmacies near your alternative location 
    • Follow the instructions of local officials 
    • Have a communication and reunification plan with everyone in your home 
    • If you are unable to evacuate, alert local emergency management officials and your loved ones or caretakers 
  • Plan for any chronic conditions you may have 
    • Diabetes: Talk to your pharmacist about keeping a supply of insulin on hand – Try to refrain from eating sugar and other carbohydrates 
    • Kidney disease: Make sure you have access to dialysis treatment and use the renal diet
    • Cardiovascular disease & hypertension: Try to refrain from high-salt and fatty food and aim for 30 minutes of activity a day to manage your blood pressure
    • Pulmonary disease: Work with your supplier to understand options for keeping resupplies of oxygen with you 
    • Disability: Develop alternative transportation plans and identify a trusted caretaker if necessary 
    • Aging: Post emergency numbers near every house phone and cellular phone 
    • Asthma: Have a plan to ensure you have a supply of your asthma medications and supplies
  • Keep a list of helpful hotlines 
    • Healthcare Ready: 1-866-247-2694
    • FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline: 1-800-621-3362
    • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (or text “TalkWithUS” to 66746)
    • Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER): 1-866-901-3773
    • Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767
    • American Diabetes Association: 1-800-342-2283
    • American Heart Association: 1-800-242-8721
    • American Association of People with Disabilities: 1-800-840-8844
    • American Stroke Association: 1-888-478-7653
  • Make sure you know your prescription medication and health information – use Rx on the Run to keep a list of your prescriptions
    • Rx on the Run is a personalized wallet-sized card that lists your prescriptions with the latest dosage and instructions 

Protecting Your Health During a Wildfire

  • Use RxOpen.org to find open pharmacies near you 
  • Check with your health insurance provider for emergency support resources and hotlines 
    • Start by calling the number on the back of your insurance card for assistance 
  • Stay indoors to limit exposure to smoke in the air 
    • When outside, wear an N95 mask to keep the air your breath free from harmful particles 

Recovering After a Wildfire

  • Wait for an alert from authorities that water is safe to drink before drinking tap water without boiling it first 
  • Watch weather alerts for information on the air quality  
  • Use caution when cleaning up debris and don’t overexert yourself 
    • Always wear gloves, masks, and protective eyewear, and beware of glass, nails, and other sharp objects 
    • Be careful of ash, embers, and burning debris 
    • If you are cut or scraped, clean and disinfect the wound thoroughly and keep it covered, especially if you have cancer or are otherwise immunocompromised
  • Contact family and friends to let them know you are safe 
    • Check in on your loved ones that may need support 
    • Use text messages instead of phone calls because phone lines might be down
  • Check with your health insurance provider for emergency support resources and hotlines 
    • Start by calling the number on the back of your insurance card for assistance 
    • If you don’t have insurance, call 2-1-1 and ask about local services that may be able to help
    • If there is a disaster declaration, you can also try to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance for financial support by calling 800-621-3362 or visiting DisasterAssistance.gov

This tip sheet was created thanks to generous support from Eli Lilly and Company.