Disaster Planning for Special Needs
In a disaster, people with special medical needs have extra concerns. Take the following steps if you or your family members have special medical needs:
- Have an extra three-day supply of any medical supplies you use, such as bandages, ostomy bags or syringes.
- For all medical equipment requiring electrical power such as beds, breathing equipment or infusion pumps - check with your medical supply company and get information regarding a backup power source such as a battery or generator.
- If you use oxygen, have an emergency supply (enough for at least a three day period).
- Oxygen tanks should be securely braced so they do not fall over. Call your medical supply company regarding bracing instructions.
- Prepare copies of vital medical papers such as insurance cards and power of attorney.
- Store extra batteries for hearing aids, implants, TTY and light phone signaler.
- If hearing impaired, determine how you will communicate with emergency personnel if there is no interpreter or if you don't have your hearing aids. Store paper and pens for this purpose.
- Service animals may become confused, frightened or disoriented during and after a disaster. Keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash/harness is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal.
Preparing Your Medication
- Always have at least a three-day supply of all your medications. In some emergencies, such as an influenza pandemic, you may need to prepare for a week or more.
- Store your medications in one location in their original containers.
- Have a list of all your medications: name of medication, does, frequency, and the name of the prescribing doctor.