When an emergency strikes being prepared can make the difference safety and tragedy. Planning for what you CAN control, allows you to better manage crises when they occur.
Prepare an emergency supply kit that can be easily accessed.
Do you have a week’s worth of medication, enough food and water in the event of an extended power outage, and a flashlight with extra batteries? If you are caring for someone who requires oxygen, what is the plan to ensure a continued supply? These are just a few of the questions to consider when preparing for emergencies or disasters.
Consider supplying your kit with the following:
- Nonperishable food items, including a can opener for canned goods
- Water- plan on 1 gallon of water, per person, per day. If you have pets, ensure you are planning on them as well!
- Basic first aid kit
- Cell phone with charger and extra battery
- Flashlights with batteries
- Candles & Matches
- Battery operated radio
- Emergency contact names and numbers in a waterproof sheath
- Identification (photocopies of identification, driver’s license, Social Security card, Medicare card, other health insurance information, credit cards)
- Cash and coins
- Sanitation-related items, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, basic personal hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, denture needs, soap, shampoo, feminine products, wipes, bathroom tissue, garbage bags
- Change of clothing and specific clothing items for varying types of weather to include shoes/sneakers/boots
Keep medications in a central location so that they may be easily located and packed into your kit in the event of an evacuation!
All kits should also include important documents, stored in a waterproof pack, which includes:
- Copy of your birth certificate
- List of your medical conditions
- Medication list
- List of current physicians
- Immunization records
- Bank account information
- Names and phone numbers of emergency contacts
- Legal paperwork such as Power of Attorney or Advance Directives
- Copies of insurance card(s) or numbers
- Personal identification
- Copy of any Advanced Directives, including Health Care Proxy or Living Will documents
Consider using checklists to help you organize this information, including medication lists and emergency contacts. The following link will guide you to examples of pre-made checklists for you and your family members. https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit *
Whether you create your own or use those already developed, enjoy peace of mind that you are prepared!
Don’t forget to take care of your own needs!
While it will be crucial to ensure the needs of your Veteran are met during times of emergencies, it is equally important to attend to your own needs. As you prepare your Veteran for the unexpected, prepare for yourself. When gathering important documents for your Veteran, also make sure to gather your own documents. Create your own medication list, and your own list of emergency contacts. Your needs are critical too!