Disaster assistant program assists many who lost xPAP equipment
Awake In America has expanded its disaster relief program, Operation Restore CPAP, which was created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
With more disasters happening in the United States, such as large numbers of wild fires, flooding, and other disasters, Awake In America’s Board has decided to list the program on its site, listing which disasters the program gets approved for activation.
The disasters considered for Operation Restore CPAP involve those disasters where there’s little notice for preparation, as well as those disasters with large numbers of evacuations and/or property loss. Only disasters that are receive presidential declarations as disaster areas, and later managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are considered.
Because of the number of disasters throughout the country, more than 50 per year several times over the past decade, according to statistics on the FEMA, Awake In America cannot respond to each presidentially-declared disaster.
The basic requirements for individuals to qualify for Operation Restore CPAP are:
- must be a U.S. citizen;
- must have been diagnosed with sleep apnea by sleep study and a titration performed to determine therapeutic pressure;
- must have been successfully using an xPAP device, such as a CPAP or a bi-level (BiPAP) machine to treat their diagnosed apnea;
- have filed a claim with FEMA for losses;
- and be able to provide proof of residence in the disaster area prior to the disaster.
“We’ve been able to assist people who have lost their homes, their family photos, as well as durable medical equipment to treat their diagnosed sleep apnea since Operation Restore CPAP’s inception following Hurricane Katrina,” said Awake In America President Michele Narcavage. “Expanding the program and listing it on our site instead of working with relief organizations and governmental agencies in the disaster zones should allow us to assist disaster victims who may not learn of our program from relief workers in the disaster zone because someone wasn’t familiar with sleep apnea.”
Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing for a period of at least 10 seconds, sometimes lasting 90 seconds or longer, during sleep. While many people with obstructive sleep apnea snore loudly and frequently, following by periods of silence when airflow is reduced or blocked, and then come to a conclusion when the person begins to make choking, snorting, or gasping sounds when the person’s airway reopens.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to memory loss, sexual dysfunction, depression, diabetes, hypertension, greater risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure, increased risk of stroke, greater risk of involvement in motor vehicle accidents, among other health issues.
Sleep apnea is best treated by the use of a positive airway pressure device, such as a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP, or a bi-level positive airway pressure device, or BiPAP. The term xPAP is used when speaking of positive airway pressure machines, overall, when one specific type of machine is not being discussed.
Other treatments for apnea exist, though the success rate at eliminating the apneas — especially without surgery — are not close to the almost 100 percent success rate of xPAP devices. They include oral devices, including custom devices made by dentists; surgeries; and an implant that’s been on the market for a few years with mixed comments.
Individuals may download Operation Restore CPAP applications from this site, but they need to first register on as a site member to gain access. Once registered, simply login and return to this page to download the files.
Operation Restore CPAP Applications
- California Wild Fires application (June 2008, July 2008) (expires Sept. 29, 2008 Oct. 29, 2008)
- Hurricane Ike application (September 13, 2008) (expires Dec. 13, 2008)
Disaster Relief Program Subpages: