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Five Things Cancer Patients Should Know When Evacuating
It is important to be prepared for possible evacuation should a disaster strike in your community. In order for cancer patients to be prepared, it means more than safeguarding their home – it’s also about ensuring that they still have access to their vital healthcare amenities and treatments.
A key challenge for cancer patients is finding alternative sites to receive cancer treatment if they evacuate from their homes. While cancer patients may continue their treatment at any Texas Oncology facility statewide, it is essential they be prepared before they need to evacuate. The tips below include some important guidelines for cancer patients to follow in case they are forced to leave their communities.
TIP No. 1: TALK ABOUT IT
Your doctor may be able to help provide a medical point of contact in the area you are planning to evacuate to and/or other organizations may be able to help you find alternative treatment facilities, such as Texas Oncology. It is also important for someone close to you – a family member, friend, neighbor – to know your whereabouts in case of emergency. If possible, provide this person with the address and phone number of the new location where you can be reached. It is also important to contact your doctor and advise him/her of your new location.
TIP No. 2: KNOW YOUR TREATMENTS – PAST AND PRESENT
Work with your doctor to summarize your medical history in a simple document. Include your current medications and dosages, current and recent treatments, and other dietary and health needs. Store this information in a waterproof container and take it with you if you evacuate. Ask your doctor if you will need additional prescriptions to cover your evacuation time.
TIP No. 3: KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Keep handy the name of your doctor, his/her office address and phone number, as well as the contact information for alternative treatment facilities. In addition, record the name of your pharmacy and its phone number. Keep this information with your medical history, and if possible, store the phone numbers in your cell phone.
TIP No. 4: KNOW YOUR COVERAGE
Know what insurance coverage you have in other communities and what doctors and medical facilities are available to you. Be sure to take your insurance card with you. Document ownership of any medical equipment in case it is lost or stolen. Keep this information with your medical records.
TIP No. 5: KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
Identify an alternative facility where you can continue to receive treatment. Cancer care for displaced patients is available at any of more than 150 Texas Oncology locations across the state. Patients who relocate to another community within Texas may call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226) or visit www.TexasOncology.com to locate a nearby practice. Patients who relocate to another state may visit www.usoncology.com to find a US Oncology network practice in their area.
Click here for the Disaster Preparedness form
Extremidades del Estado de Preparación de Desastre
Formulario para Pacientes por Preparación de Desastres