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Make a READY TO GO KIT for Disaster Preparedness and be ready for the unexpected.

When you bring someone home who will need continual care, the last thing you want to think about is what you would do in case of an emergency. You already have enough on your mind just trying to adapt to the new routine. The truth is, a disaster preparedness READY TO GO KIT is be one of the first things you assemble. A disaster can strike at any time. When you have a person with special needs, what used to be a minor event can quickly become a major crisis. If you have a plan and your kit together, you are prepared and can spend your time providing support instead of panicking.

The first thing to do is to create a written plan. Do not rely on memory, it is easy to forget critical steps during an emergency. You may be out and someone else is in charge, leave them with a comprehensive plan to follow. Locate your plan and kit in an easily accessible place and inform everyone where it is.

Have an evacuation plan. Do you use a wheelchair or does the bed roll out of your home? If the person is using electric equipment, what is the plan if the power goes out? Do you have charged batteries for backup? Do you have enough medication to last for at least 2-3 days? Hospitals are often crowded during emergencies. You do not want to be waiting in a hospital lobby simply because you did not plan ahead for medicine needed.

Next,assemble everything you need into an easy to grab kit. A good option is the Rolling Shopping Cart.

The National Organization on Disability suggests at least the following as a minimum for your READY TO GO KIT.

  • A three day supply of food per person.
  • A three day supply of water per person.
  • Medical equipment, assistive devices, glasses, hearing aids, catheters, canes, extra batteries and chargers.
  • Medications and wound care supplies. Check periodically to make sure medicines do not expire.
  • Sufficient diapers or incontinence supplies.
  • A list of medications, prescription names, dosage, frequency, doctor, pharmacist, and their phone numbers. If medication need to be kept cold, bring a cooler and ice pack.
  • A list of emergency contact information, including all support network members.
  • Copies of documents such as birth certificate, passport, licenses, insurance information, and proof of address. Keep in a waterproof bag.
  • Cash, credit cards, checkbook, ATM card.
  • Supplies for any animals, including ID tags, proof of vaccinations, and veterinary information.
  • A white distress flag or cloth, glow sticks.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Written identification of conditions or medical bracelets.
  • These are the bare minimums, add as needed to make everyone as safe and comfortable as possible. Keep a checklist for items that cannot be pre-packed so you do not forget. Make disaster preparedness a priority. Don't wait until you need it.

    --- by Ginger