Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prep Tip #3: 10 More Medical Preps

Now that you have your first aid kits together, here are ten more medical prep tips:

  1. If you rely on prescription medications, try to stockpile as much of your meds as possible.  In the event of a disaster which closes all of the pharmacies in the area or in the event of job loss or insurance loss which means the cost of your necessary medications jump sky high, having a stockpile to fall back on can be critical to your health.
  2. Also stockpile any additional specialized medical supplies for your household members such as diapers and formula if you have a baby in the house or diapers, hearing aid batteries, Ensure, etc if you have elderly folks in the house.
  3. Take a first aid course and become certified in CPR and AED use, as well as in basic first aid skills.
  4. Create a medical information sheet for each member of the family.  Keep one copy of these sheets on your computer and have each family member carry their own sheet in their wallet.  Information on this sheet should include: birth date, allergies, medical history, current list of prescription and over the counter medications, physician's name and phone number, etc.
  5. For elderly or medically fragile folks, the medical info sheet listed above should also be kept on the refrigerator or near their bed (ditto if they have a DNR--Do Not Resuscitate--order).
  6. Make sure you have a good selection of medical reference books in your home library.  While there are plenty of good medical reference books to download to your computer or phone, it is also nice to have hard copies in the event of an extended power outage.
  7. Be proactive and take care of your health so that needing medical care for chronic health problems is not needed.  Stay active and fit, eat nutritious food, take your vitamins, visit your doctor for an annual physical, etc.
  8. If you have the opportunity to get advanced medical training--everything from EMT classes or outdoor medicine classes to paramedic or RN courses--take the opportunity; the things you learn can be extremely valuable during a disaster.
  9. Learn a range of home remedies.  Many small medical problems can be handled at home so learning and practicing the basics--Heimlich Maneuver, how to stop bleeding, how to take care of someone sick with the flu, etc--can not only save you money but can also be valuable during a disaster if medical care isn't available.
  10. Volunteer at a medical facility or for a medical-related community event.  This will give you some good connections to the medical community, you will gain valuable information and/or training, and you may even end up with some useful freebies.

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