Over the past year (and more), we’ve all been confronted with our fair share of emergencies and natural disasters. We’re living through a pandemic. The people of the west coast have battled some of the worst wildfires in our nation’s history. Recent hurricane seasons have been exceptionally active. We’ve had tornado outbreaks in parts of the country where storms of this intensity are not common.
It’s certainly a reminder that life can change in an instant. It also gave many of us the extra push we needed to create preparedness plans for our families. For some, that may mean putting documents such as Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Directives, and Wills in place so that life would be as easy as possible for their families if something happened. If you don’t already have these documents created, please contact us so we can help you.
It’s also important to have emergency kits prepared. For example, people in areas where wildfires are common are encouraged to keep emergency items in the trunk of their car should an immediate evacuation be necessary. As we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us now have non-perishable food items, extra cleaning supplies, even extra toilet paper, in the event stores should suddenly close.
But if you have a loved one who has disabilities, a chronic illness, or is elderly, there are a few more things you should add to your “preparedness kit.” These items are often overlooked, but they are critical to have on hand in an emergency. That includes:
- Photocopies of important documentation such as health insurance policies, ID cards, and medical alert information.
- Copies of all prescription drugs that your loved one takes and contact information for doctors and pharmacies in case you need an emergency refill.
- Extra batteries for medical devices such as hearing aids or breathing machines.
- A patch kit to repair tires on a wheelchair or scooter in an emergency.
- A two-week supply of medical care items such as needles, bandages, cannulas, etc.
- Cooler and ice packs for any medications that must be kept cold.
- Masks, blankets, and towels.
- A backup supply of special dietary foods.
- A lightweight manual wheelchair to use as a backup in the event a powerchair goes down.
- A “grab and go” bag of items that will keep a child with special needs calm such as toys that he or she likes or a favorite book.
- Extra food and supplies for service animals.
- A power adapter that can be plugged into the car for any electronic communication devices.
Finally, it’s a smart idea to identify local shelters that are equipped to house people with special needs or disabilities in the event of a disaster. You can contact the Red Cross for further information at https://www.redcross.org/. We are also here to answer any questions you have about legal planning to ensure the future protection and security of your loved one. Please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.