Report: Chronic Disease and Disability Could Harm Readiness for Disaster

People with diabetes and those with other types of disabilities and chronic disease are less likely than their healthier peers to be adequately prepared in the event of a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disasters, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine next month.

The study, led by East Carolina University’s Jeffrey Bethel, discovered that disaster preparedness was significantly lower among Americans who described themselves as being in poor health, having a physical disability, or suffering from a chronic disease. They were, however, more likely to have at least a three-day supply of necessary medication than fully healthy people.

According to the report, the data was collected between 2006 and 2008 as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a large-scale survey conducted by various state departments of health.

In addition to having an emergency kit ready and packed, those with chronic medical conditions should make emergency plans for their daily care, as medical facilities are just as vulnerable to natural disasters as any other.

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