Nov 172013

CERT_logoIf you or a family member have special medical needs, you will want to take steps ahead of time to ensure that those needs can be met following an emergency of any kind. Think about your medical needs and how you can prepare to meet them. People with weakened immune systems and/or medical conditions which affect the lungs may be at increased risk from environmental contaminants following a disaster. In addition to the general preparedness activities, you may find the following tips helpful.

Emergency “Go Kit”

Have a bag packed at all times with the medications and medical supplies you use on a regular basis. In the event of an emergency, you may have to leave your home on very short notice. Include these items:

A 10-day supply (minimum) of all of your medications. Store the medications in their original containers.

A list of all of your medications: name of medication, dose, frequency, and the name of the doctor prescribing it.

A 10-day supply (minimum) of the medical supplies you know you will need, such as bandages, ostomy bags or syringes, etc.

A supply of disposable facemasks and gloves, for extra protection when needed.

Oxygen and Breathing Equipment

Have a seven-day supply (minimum) of the breathing equipment that you need on a daily basis such as tubing, solutions, medications, etc.

If you use oxygen, have an emergency seven-day supply (minimum) on hand.

Oxygen tanks are heavy and can create a hazard during an earthquake or fire. Check with your medical supply company about how to brace or secure them. THEN DO IT!

Intravenous (IV) and Feeding Tube Equipment

Attach written operating instructions to all equipment.

Know if your infusion pump has battery back up, and how long it would last in an emergency.

Ask your home care equipment provider about manual infusion techniques in case of a power outage.

Electrically Powered Medical Equipment

Medical equipment that requires electrical power such as beds, breathing equipment or infusion pumps may become inoperable when the electricity fails. Contact your medical supply company for information regarding a back-up power source such as a battery or generator.

After installing back-up power equipment, check with your local utility company to be sure it is properly installed.


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