Thursday, August 31, 2017

Prepping Challenges 41 Thru 50--Medical

Among the most important prepping skills to have are those of the medical variety.  As you can see from reports on Hurricane Harvey, medical services are often few and far between right after a disaster.

#41--You have a variety of well-stocked first aid kits, for your home, vehicles, a tiny one for your EDC bag, for your Bug Out Bag, for your RV/boat, and for your work place.  There are numerous lists online to guide you in making useful first aid kits.

#42--You have medical training and skills which would be useful in a variety of disaster situations.  Many community centers/fire departments/Red Cross offices offer First Aid/AED/CPR courses and these cover the basics, an EMT course is even better, paramedic training is better yet.

#43--You have stocked up on any prescription medications needed by you or your family members.  Ideally, you can get 90-day prescriptions from your doctor for these and maybe automatic reordering for medications for chronic conditions so you always have medications on hand (don't forget to grab these if you need to evacuate).  As a side note, be sure to take photos of each prescriptions and always carry these with you in case you need an emergency prescription.

#44--You have basic medical texts on hand for general browsing and/or use during an emergency.  Books like 'When There is No Doctor' and 'The Doomsday Book of Medicine' are two of many texts that spell out the how-to of emergency medical care.

#45--You are well versed in herbal medicine, old fashioned home remedies, and basic home care.  Of course when you need an antibiotic you need an antibiotic but many simple conditions can be taken care of with basic home care and natural remedies that your grandmother would have used.

#46--You have done your best to stock your emergency medical kit with prescription pain killers and antibiotics.  This is simple if your regular doctor knows you, will give you a prescription, and is pretty sure you won't use it for nefarious purposes.  You don't want to be caught with prescription-only meds if you don't have a prescription for them as that is illegal.

#47--You keep other, higher scope of practice, medical supplies on hand not necessarily for yourself but to have for emergency providers during a disaster.  An EpiPen, asthma inhaler, ET tubes, a needle decompression kit, and other supplies can be useful in a disaster but only by people properly trained in their use.  A good argument for NOT having these items on hand is that they are generally expensive, hard to acquire unless you are a medical professional, and expire so need to be replaced regularly.

#48--You pay particular attention to cleanliness, especially during a disaster.  Simply washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, properly disposing of sewage, and properly cooking food goes a long way towards preventing the spread of infections and diseases after a disaster.

#49--You have pre-planned the care resources, right up to early evacuation, if you have a medically fragile family member.  People who are on a vent, require oxygen, have serious chronic diseases, require dialysis, or are severely immuno-compromised need to be evacuated prior to a disaster, not after.  While there are some things you can do, like keeping extra tanks of oxygen on hand or having a generator for necessary electrical connections, trying to find care in your area after your hometown is wiped off a map is a deadly gamble to take so early evacuation only makes sense.

#50--You have planned to have back-ups if you or a family member needs special equipment for everyday functioning (dentures, denture adhesive, hearing aids, hearing aid batteries, a cane, walker, spare pair of glasses, etc).

More information on medical preparedness here, here, and here.

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