Thursday, June 16, 2016

Prepping for the Seriously Ill and Infirm

If you are an average healthy person with enough money to prep and enough time to practice, you will be at the top of the food chain when it comes to a SHTF scenario.  If you, or someone you love, however is seriously ill or infirm, you have a lot of extra work to do to get prepared.  Here's how:

  • If you have babies, consider what you would need as far as extra preps go.  Stockpiling diapers and formula?  Adding an assortment of children's medicine to your first aid kit?  Purchasing cloth diapers to use in an emergency?
  • If you wear glasses or contacts, do you have a spare pair of glasses in your BOB?
  • If you need hearing aids, consider stocking up on batteries and, when you get a new pair, tuck away your old hearing aids, along with a quantity of batteries, for use in a disaster should your new hearing aids become damaged.
  • If you wear dentures, again, consider tucking away your old pair for use during an emergency should your newer pair break.  Obviously this isn't ideal as the structure of your mouth changes over time making your old dentures virtually unusable but it is better than nothing.  Note that dentures can and do break but they can usually be super glued back together for a temporary fix.  Also, consider implants which are less likely to break and have a longer lifespan.
  • If you need prescription medication, ask you doctor for a 90 or 120 day prescription and be sure to renew your prescriptions early so you will always have enough meds to see you through an extra few weeks.  Be sure to put some of your medications in your EDC and BOB in case you need them and are not home to access your usual medications.  Also, keep a list of your medications (names, dosages, copies of prescriptions) in your wallet in case you are evacuated without your meds and need to get new prescriptions.
  • If you suffer from severe allergies, consider stockpiling a few EpiPens, asthma inhalers, etc.  Note that these can be expensive and expire rather quickly.  If your doctor will write you a prescription and teach you to draw your own Epi you may be in a more favorable position.
  • If you require insulin which must be refrigerated, consider you options beforehand and plan accordingly.  Purchasing a 12-volt cooler which can be plugged into your vehicle may be an option.
  • If you require oxygen, ask your doctor about your options.  You can store additional tanks of oxygen, you can ask your local Department of Emergency Management or hospital disaster coordinator if they have contingency plans for providing oxygen during a disaster, you can get a portable oxygen concentrator but note that these still require you to be able to charge the battery so consider how you would do this if the power goes out (car charger? generator?).
  • If you require critical care and will literally die if a disaster happens and your power goes out (ie: on a ventilator) consider installing a back-up generator and stockpiling extra fuel.  Again, ask your doctor/hospital disaster coordinator/department of emergency management for preparedness options up to and including pre-evacuation before a possible disaster.
  • If you require other kinds of critical care (such as dialysis) and will literally die if you are unable to access medical care during a disaster, consider your option.  Obviously pre-evacuating prior to a possible disaster such as a hurricane or tornado is a good idea.  Also, ask your local department of emergency management about Special Needs Shelters, where they will be located, and how to access them.
  • Put together a local team.  People who are ill or infirm, mentally ill, or physically debilitated need a team of people to help them out after a disaster.  Able-bodied people who can help extricate someone in a wheel chair after their house falls down due to an earthquake are an important part of the team.  A neighbor who can check on an elderly person to make sure their needs are taken care of before and after a disaster is also important.  Pre-planning is absolutely  necessary when it comes to caring for people who are ill or infirm and cannot take care of themselves before, during or after a disaster.
For additional information on preparing with a serious illness or infirmity, go here, here, and here.

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