As Hawaii braces for Hurricane Lane, American Kidney Fund readies to help patients
As the outer bands of Category 4 Hurricane Lane begin lashing Hawaii with rain, the state’s nearly 3,600 dialysis patients are preparing for possible disruptions to their life-sustaining treatments. With conditions expected to worsen over the next couple of days and into the weekend, patients are preparing for loss of power, transportation challenges, potential flooding and possibly the need to evacuate affected areas.
Hawaii’s dialysis clinics have already been working with patients on preparations for an emergency. They have instructed patients to restrict their water and potassium intake in preparation for the storm to stay as healthy as possible in case they miss a treatment. Clinics are also working on contingency plans to move patients off the islands that will be most affected, where they may be better able to access dialysis treatments. Some dialysis clinics on Oahu are planning to close Friday because of the potential impact, and are urging patients to get treated today.
To help these patients, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) has activated its Disaster Relief Program for the state of Hawaii. AKF’s program is the nation’s only rapid-response system that provides emergency charitable financial assistance to dialysis patients when disaster strikes their communities. Grants from AKF help patients replace lost medications and special renal diet foods, pay for temporary housing and transportation to treatment, and replace clothing and personal essentials lost in a natural disaster.
Last year, as back-to-back hurricanes struck the mainland United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AKF provided nearly $850,000 in disaster relief grants to more than 3,800 dialysis patients affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. A generous outpouring of support from individuals, foundations and corporations ensured that we could provide a grant to every dialysis patient who applied.
While we all hope there is no major devastation from Hurricane Lane, we are ready to help any Hawaii dialysis patients who may need assistance from AKF.
Any Hawaii dialysis patient affected by Hurricane Lane who needs an AKF emergency grant should contact a social worker at their dialysis center for information on applying, or call AKF directly at 800.795.3226.
If you would like to help dialysis patients affected by Hurricane Lane or other natural disasters, please consider making a contribution to AKF’s Disaster Relief Program.
If you are a Hawaii dialysis patient in need of emergency assistance, please complete our Hurricane Lane Individual Assistance Request Form. If you have had to move to a different facility, please complete our Change of Facility Form. For a list of important phone numbers and other resources helpful to patients in Hawaii, download our Hurricane Lane resources list.
Mike Spigler is vice president of patient services and kidney disease education at the American Kidney Fund.