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Be prepared

Sep 28, 2015 09:01AM ● Published by Neighbors Magazines

If you have a disability or an access and functional need, you may need to take additional steps to prepare for emergencies. Plan to stay independent during times when services may be unavailable during an emergency. Stock a basic disaster supply kit. Inventory what you use
every day to live independently. Identify the essential things that you will need to be able to survive for three to five days or longer, if people cannot get to you. Stock these custom essentials in your kit. For example, your kit may contain items such as durable medical equipment, assistive technology, food for special diets, prescription medicines, diabetic supplies, hearing aids and batteries, a TTY, manual wheelchair, and supplies for a service animal.

Create a support network

Plan how you will contact your family members by calling, or emailing, or texting agreed upon friends or relatives if you’re unable to contact each other directly. Let people in your support network know of your emergency plans. Tell them where you keep your emergency supplies. They may be able to assist you in ensuring that your assistive devices will go with you if you have to evacuate your home. If you use oxygen or other medical equipment,show friends how to use these devices so they can move you or help you evacuate. Practice your plan with your personal support network.

Collect important information and phone numbers

Keep a list of the local non-profit or community-based organizations that could provide assistance. Maintain a list of phone numbers for your doctors, pharmacy, and the medical
facilities you use. Make copies of medical prescriptions and doctors’ orders for assistive devices that you use. Make copies of medical insurance cards, Medicare or Medicaid cards, physicians’ contact information, a list of your allergies, and your health history. If you own a medical alert tag or bracelet, wear it. Find out if your community has a public warning system and if so, what the warning sounds like.

Make backup plans to receive medical treatment

If you work with a medical provider or organization to receive life sustaining medical treatment
such as dialysis, oxygen, or cancer treatment, work with them to identify alternative locations where you could continue treatment.

Stay mobile with accessible transportation

Plan ahead for accessible tranportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services to identify your local or private accessible service.

Plan for power outages

In the event that you cannot be without power, plan for how you will have power backup. If possible,have backup battery, generator or alternate electrical resources. Purchase extra batteries for motorized wheelchairs or other battery-operated medical or assistive devices. Keep the batteries charged at all times. Backup chargers for a cell phone could include a handcrank USB cell phone emergency charger, a solar charger, or a battery pack. Backup chargers for a laptop or tablet could include a 12V USB adapter that plugs into a car or a battery jump pack. Plan how you are going to receive emergency information if you are unable to use a TV, radio or computer. Have a plan for medications that require refrigeration.

Health+Wellness, Today Medical
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