Climate change is contributing to increasingly hazardous tropical cyclones that endanger persons living in susceptible coastal and island communities. People living with chronic illness, including multiple sclerosis (MS), face unique challenges and vulnerabilities when exposed to hurricane hazards. Disaster and emergency preparedness requires a customized approach that considers the necessary adaptations to accommodate the mobility, self-care, sensory, cognitive, and communication impairments of persons living with MS. Related considerations include the potential for worsening neurologic signs and symptoms during and after a catastrophic storm. The impact of emotional and financial stresses, as well as disruptions in health care delivery, on this population are also key concerns. This paper addresses the challenges faced by individuals with MS in advance of, during, and in the aftermath of extreme storms. We propose new guidelines on how health care professionals can assist persons with MS when creating tailored disaster readiness and response plans.

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