No matter how careful you are, accidents happen and emergencies beyond you control may arise. Emergency preparedness is critical for all family caregivers. Be sure to have enough necessities on hand and ask family and/or friends for any help. You may be notified of a possible emergency by NOAA weather radio, commercial radio and television stations and/or door-to-door warning from local emergency officials. Always follow their instructions in order to avoid a life-threatening situations.
The first step in emergency management should be to assemble a survival kit. Your survival kit should include the following at a minimum:
- First aid kit
- Three (3) days’ worth of medications, including a list of the medications that are taken regularly and their dosages, the name of the physician prescribing them and a list of any allergies
- If insulin is used, pre-fill syringes for three (3) days
- If medical supplies are regularly used, have an extra three (3) day supply available
- List of physicians and relatives/friends who should be notified in the event of injury
- List of important documents, including any documents for pets, in a waterproof container
- Store a flashlight, battery operated radio and extra batteries in case of a power loss
- Manual can opener
- Have cash (including coins) on hand as ATM machines and banks may not be in operation without electricity and stores will not be able to accept credit cards
- Arrange a back-up oxygen supply if needed
- If you have an intravenous catheter you will need extra sterile water to clean the catheter site
- Store three (3) days’ worth of non-perishable food and water
In the event of an emergency, you may also need:
- Change of clothing
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Personal hygiene supplies
- Insurance agent’s name and telephone number
Have supplies packed and ready in one place before an emergency/natural disaster strikes. Be sure the container that emergency supplies are in has an ID tag or is marked with your name.
- Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers
- Arrange for a back-up power source for any medical equipment that operates on electricity
- Make arrangements to stay with relatives or friends in the event of an emergency
- If necessary, make arrangements in advance for special transportation and/or to stay at a shelter
If you are told to stay indoors:
- Close all windows and doors in your home
- Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems
- Go to a room with the fewest windows and doors
- Stay away from all windows to avoid injury from flying glass and/or any other projectiles
If you are instructed to evacuate your home:
- Call Partners in Healthcare and give the address and telephone number where you can be reached
- Turn off electricity and water
- Leave immediately, even if the weather is nice
- Stay away from any electrical wires
- Remember to lock your windows and doors when you evacuate
Please be aware that during an emergency Partners in Healthcare Agency personnel will not be providing home health care service in areas that have been designated as unsafe!
The elder help line is 1-800-96-ELDER or 1-800- 963-5337 or online at the Elder Affairs website.
The Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation line is 1-800-962-2873.