Preparing For Natural Disasters With Chronic Pain Or Chronic Illness – It seems like everywhere we look there is some sort of natural disaster going on in the world; tornado’s, hurricanes, and even blizzards. When you have chronic pain or a chronic illness it’s often hard to know what we can do to be prepared. We have some key tips for preparing for natural disasters with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Preparing For Natural Disasters With Chronic Pain Or Chronic Illness:
Create a written list:
Write down contact information including phone, address and email of your family, caregivers, neighbors and other important people/offices, such as medical facilities, your doctors, pharmacy, and other service providers. Also, on this list include your current medications and dosages and list any allergies you may have. Make copies of insurance cards and ID. Write descriptions of your disability and your support needs. If you have a service animal include copies of documentation (if you have it) and make a plan for them; find a local shelter that takes in service animals if you become displaced or find someone to care for them in event that can not. Find somewhere safe for this list even making double copies and placing it in two separate places is a good idea.
Share your plan:
Pick a couple of trusted people (neighbor, friend, or family member). Tell them where your emergency supplies and list is kept and come up with a plan if the power goes out how you will contact each other if cell service is down. Let them know what medical devices you need to have with you if there is some sort of evacuation order.
Create a basic survival kit/emergency kit:
Along with a basic kit include items such as; medical supplies, assistive devices, prescription medicines, contact lenses and supplies, extra pair of glasses, phone charger, manual wheelchair, extra seat cushion or egg crate padding, other medical equipment, and supplies for your service animal.
*If you use a power wheelchair/scooter try to have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup or a cane, crutches or walker (if you can use them). If you can, purchase an extra battery for a power wheelchair/scooter. If you are financially unable to purchase an extra battery, see if there are any agencies that can help you with this purchase. It’s also a good idea to have some sort of patch kit or a can of Fix a Flat (sealant for flat tires).
Build a first aid kit ahead of time including items:
Latex or other sterile gloves, sterile dressings to stop bleeding, cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic wipes, antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, Band-aids (variety of sizes), eye wash solution to flush the eyes, at least one week of daily prescription medications you take every day (rotate medicines to account for expiration dates). For pain medication talk to you doctor and tell them you are putting together this kit and ask them how you should do it. Including aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, laxatives. Don’t forget to include scissors and tweezers. If you have a service animal including extra gauze and tape to wrap their paws to protect them from walking on broken or sharp objects.
For your kids:
Fill a backpack with a few age appropriate books, crayons, coloring books, paper, favorite small toys like dolls or action figures, a deck of cards, also include a picture of your family and a small flashlight for them.
Besides the basics of food, water, and extra bowls here are some more ideas to be prepared for a disaster with a pet.
If you live in a colder climate:
Preparing for natural disasters with chronic pain or a chronic illness with a colder climate is very important as the cold can affect our conditions. Not everyone has a generator so you must think about staying warm. It is possible that you will not have heat and you could become isolated in your home. You will need to think of an alternative heat source. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove you could store a supply of dry, seasoned wood. Also, think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to have enough coats, long pants, long sleeve shirt/sweatshirts, gloves, hats, thick socks, lots of heavy blankets (enough for everyone).