In a disaster, people with special medical needs have extra concerns. This information will help you and your family prepare for a disaster.
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.
Keep an updated list of all of your medications: name of medication, dose, frequency, and the name of the prescribing doctor.
Have an extra three-day supply of any medical supplies you use, such as bandages, ostomy bags or syringes.
Electrically Powered Medical Equipment
For all medical equipment requiring electrical power — beds, breathing equipment or infusion pumps — check with your medical supply company and get information regarding a back-up power source such as a battery or generator.
Oxygen and Breathing Equipment
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.
If you use breathing equipment, have a three-day supply or more of tubing, solutions and medications.
Intravenous (IV) and Feeding Tube Equipment
Know if your infusion pump has battery back-up, and how long it would last in an emergency.
Ask your home care provider about manual infusion techniques in case of a power outage.
Have written operating instructions attached to all equipment.
Emergency Medical Kit
In the event that you have to leave your home, keep a bag packed at all times that contains:
A medication list
Medical supplies for at least three days
Copies of vital medical papers such as insurance cards and power of attorney
People Who Can Help
An important part of being prepared for a disaster is planning with family, friends and neighbors. Know who can walk to your home to assist you if no other means of transportation is available.
Discuss your disaster plans with your home health care provider.
Keep a list handy of people who can help and their phone numbers.