If you’re preparing for an emergency situation or crisis, you need to consider any special needs your family may have. If there are medical conditions, physical handicaps or other special needs, your emergency kits will be more comprehensive. Today I want to talk about planning for the special and unique needs of your family.
Planning for Health Conditions During Emergencies
- Diabetes: Diabetic distress can get very serious, very fast so it’s extremely important to be prepared to not only handle an emergency, but also to do everything you can to prevent a medical emergency during an crisis. First, make sure that any loved ones suffering from diabetes are wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Health-Family Health Services has a great article on storing and using insulin during an crisis or natural disaster, and also includes an expanded Diabetic Emergency Supply list. In addition to emergency insulin, glucose tablets and other supplies, you also need to consider food – Diabetics have specific food requirements and also need a regular eating and snacking schedule in order to maintain proper glucose levels, so your emergency plan should include snacks and foods that are not likely to cause blood sugar problems.
- Asthma: Does someone in your family suffer from asthma? Do they have a medical ID bracelet yet? If so, you need to keep extra asthma inhalers or medications that may be needed on hand. Ask your doctor about emergency supplies for your asthmatic loved one.
- Allergies: Do you have family members with known allergies that you need to plan for? Make sure they have a medical-ID bracelet as well. Always keep at least one extra Epi-Pen handy. Even without known allergies, keep general allergy medication in your stockpile for the unexpected allergic reaction.
- Medications: Be sure to keep a supply of any medications that family members are taking, as well as copies of all prescriptions, including oxygen. Also, don’t forget to keep general allergy medication as well – both topical and pill or liquid forms – in your emergency kit for the unexpected allergic reaction.
- Physical Handicaps and Other Special Needs: If someone in your family requires a walking cane, wheel chair, or special accessories, make sure you have these items on hand and available in the event of an emergency. A collapsible cane or walker would be an excellent tool to include in your pack, or even a hiking pole for those with minor handicaps. All of these tools are collapsible so they will work within the space constraints you’ll have for stockpile storage or an emergency survival kit, but are sturdy enough to help when needed.
- Vision Problems: Make sure that anyone who needs glasses has extra eyeglasses and contacts—take advantage of online sites and get a couple of pairs of cheaper glasses. I promise you, as a glasses wearer, this is a smart investment any which way. Don’t forget extra cleaning solution if you wear contacts.
- Denture Wearers: Have extra denture cleaning items on hand if you’re planning for someone who wears dentures.
- Hearing Problems: It’s a good idea to keep extra hearing aid batteries for loved ones who wear a hearing aid.
- Blood Pressure Problems: Keep an extra Blood pressure cuff for anyone suffering from blood pressure problems.
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