Cancer Care During Super Storms

Cancer patient resources and planning during emergencies

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) After Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast and kept churning, millions of people have been left without power and transportation. What is a cancer patient to do in such disasters?

Being displaced during a crisis such as Sandy can be particularly delicate for patients in active cancer treatment, who may have weakened immune systems and are at higher risk of infection, injury, bleeding and fatigue.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has developed and published a list of resources for cancer patients to access during an emergency.

"Call 1-800-422-6237 for help with cancer care."

To speak with a cancer specialist at this time to learn how to get these publications, please call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). This line is answered Monday – Friday 8 am – 8 pm Eastern Standard Time. After these hours, recorded information is available.

You may also access LiveHelp® chat at the link below.

The NCI Service and its LiveHelp program offer online assistance in English, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 11 pm Eastern Time.

Here are suggested steps cancer patients should take in the event of catastrophic event:

  • Have all of your healthcare providers contact information and other important numbers with you at all times – preferably written on paper so you’re not lost if batteries drain.
  • Know how to reach your provider in the event of such an emergency.
  • Make a plan with your family, friends and/or caregivers – whomever you may need help from during this time.
  • Clinical trial participants should know the trial number (National Clinical Trial number, preferably), Principal Investigator, hospital and drugs or treatments being given.
  • Keep your insurance card with you at all times; call your carrier if you are displaced or need to get help.
  • Have a kit of all necessary supplies - dressings, antiseptics, medications, etc. - and store in sealable plastic bags.
  • Download Wallet Card available on the NCI website to use during an emergency

For a complete listing of power outages, shelters, weather forecasts and government assistance, do a Google search for “Hurricane Sandy.”

This is a horrible situation for all involved – and we wish everyone affected by this tragedy Godspeed.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 30, 2012
Last Updated:
October 31, 2012