If there is a natural disaster or emergency, you should always have a plan for your loved one. This can be vital with weather (like the snowstorm that is currently happening in the south east) or just a medical emergency. Being prepared is the key to making things go more smoothly. If you leave in a hurry and forget your loved one’s medication or POA paperwork you may be limited on what you can do depending on the circumstance. Lets look at two different kinds of emergencies and ways we can be more prepared.
You can put together a bag for you to take that can make it much easier for you. A bag to put in medication, POA paperwork, and personal items your loved one might need. Personal items can be anything from a good luck charm or a comfort item that might make your loved one more comfortable. A good idea is to attach a flash drive with the copies of necessary medical records or digitals copies of paperwork that you may need. In case of a medical emergency and your loved one is being taken by ambulance you need to have all these things in an easily accessible place. Your loved one is the only thing you should have to worry about. Make it easy on yourself so that you can just grab the bag and leave, and this takes much of the stress and running back and forth from the hospital. Keep the medications in a bag or bin for storage instead of a cabinet or loose drawer. Get a hard case or small portable file for paperwork and attach a flash drive. Keeping everything together and ready to go, so that in a stressful situation you can worry about your loved one.
Checklist for medical emergency
· Medication list or medications in a bag
· List of allergies and previous medical procedures (pacemaker, artificial hip, open heart surgery)
· POA paperwork and Insurance Cards
· Flash drive with digital copies of records
· Comfort Item
When a natural disaster occurs, it can be hard to figure out what to do with your loved one. A natural disaster can be anything from a snowstorm, hurricane, flood, or earthquake some of these things come quickly others you have notice. No matter what the situation is it can make all the difference to have a checklist and some things together already. Keep a medical emergency bag ready so that you have the medical paperwork together already. If you have notice, try to have your loved one ready for an emergency by planning ahead to see where they can go. If your loved one is bedridden and may need medical care the local hospital or facility may have a bed for people being evacuated. You may need to get your loved one out of town or to get somewhere safe. Sometimes you may need medical transport so plan ahead of time and set it up. Packing for your loved one can be difficult so try to make a checklist of what they will need medications, paperwork, personal care items, extra medical equipment like oxygen concentrators, and comfort items. If your loved one is staying they may need to go to a shelter check with the local police or fire department and make sure that there is a shelter that can meet their needs. If your loved one is staying home, make sure that you have the necessary supplies like food and water, refill all medications, and stock up on personal care items. Make sure that if the power is out that you have backups for any equipment that your loved one may need in the home a generator option or batteries. Being with your loved one during a disaster can be very comforting for them but is not always possible see if a neighbor or friend can be there. Make sure that there is a cellphone that is charged and ready in case your loved one needs to call emergency services. Trying to think ahead and being as prepared as possible can really save your loved one during a disaster. Some emergencies are fast like a fire or tornado, but we can prepare as much as possible and try our best.
Natural Disaster Checklist
· Medical Emergency Items (Medications, POA paperwork, and any other needed documents)
· An Evacuation Plan and Transportation
· Medical Equipment that may be vital (with extra supplies if needed)
· Food and Water
· Personal Care Items
· Comfort Items
Taking the time to get your loved one prepared for an emergency can be important. Waiting until the last minute leaves room for mistakes that can put your loved one in a worse situation. Go through the list and be prepared so that hopefully everything goes smoothly during such a stressful time.