A woman hugs a blanket around herself, next to a space heater, warm socks, an inhaler and a power bank

Winter Emergencies and Asthma

Winter is nearly upon us, so I thought now would be a great time to share with you some of the ways I am preparing for asthma events this winter.

Because it is an El Niño year, many are predicting a cold, stormy winter. Many states on the east coast, where I live, are predicted to get an above average amount of snow. While we do typically see snow where I live, a predicted increase could lead to dangerous situations, like power outages, slick roads, and delays in getting medical treatment. So I thought I would do what I can to prepare ahead of time.

Emergency kit: Having asthma supplies ready

I would not consider myself a “prepper,” per se, but I do like to keep certain things on hand in the event of power outages, hurricanes, snow storms, etc.

I just think it is good practice to keep a week’s supply of food, medication, and water on hand. I would rather be prepared and not need it, than need it and not be prepared. Since they are predicting a snowy winter, I thought I would add a couple of things to my emergency kit.

Power supply

One of the most important things I added to my kit this year is a portable battery bank. After a bit of research, I opted for a fairly small power bank. Just enough to keep me going for 2-3 days.

While I typically opt for a hand-held, portable nebulizer, I still need the option of using my plug-in nebulizer, especially if I need to connect it to my CPAP. Speaking of which, I don’t always use my CPAP, but when I need it, I need it. Heaven forbid I am in the middle of a severe asthma exacerbation in the middle of a winter storm. I need to have access to all of my tools, including my CPAP and nebulizer in case it’s difficult to get to the hospital for treatment.

Heat source

Depending on how my lungs are doing, whether I am having an exacerbation or not, cold weather can make my breathing worse. Another thing I am adding to my emergency kit this year is a small, portable heater.

If the temperature were to drop too much in my house, it would be easy enough to camp out in a small room, like the bathroom, where I could trap heat and make sure it’s warm enough to not irritate my lungs. I also have a heated blanket that I can use to keep my body temperature up.


One of the most important things in my emergency kit is a back up supply of medication. If a big storm were to hit, it might cause delays at the pharmacy or delays in being able to get to the pharmacy in order to pick up medicine.

In addition to my daily meds, I am working on getting new scripts for my as needed medications. It is especially important to work on medications that require a prior authorization, because those can be further delayed if the weather gets bad.

I have already stocked up on nebulizer supplies for the winter and will talk to my pulmonologist about a steroid supply next time I see him.

How do you prepare for winter emergencies while keeping your asthma in mind?

Maybe I am over thinking things. But maybe not. For now, I will prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Do you have an emergency kit ready for the winter? What are some of the things you have in it? Have you considered preparing for an asthma attack if you were to loose power? Let me know in the comments!

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