How to Prepare for Emergencies or Natural Disasters

How to Prepare for Emergencies or Natural Disasters

After watching the news, we can all start to feel a bit helpless in the face of a crisis. Whether it is a man-made disaster, or one caused by nature, an unexpected event can cause unforeseeable medical and financial catastrophes.  We have all watched tragedy unfold before our eyes during hurricanes, fires, tsunamis, and more, but we can also learn from the experience of families who prepared as best as they could, and were able to stay safe and healthy during these events.

These recent events have served to remind us that we need to prepare now for any possible emergency.  With communication, preparation, and some organization, you can calm any fears you might have, and feel secure in the face of any potential problem.

You and your family should have a plan in place to help you weather any potential “storm.”  Important phone numbers for family members, doctors, and local emergency assistance agencies should be kept in an easy to access, visible location in your home.  It is necessary to have a local and an out of state family member or family friend who can act as a point of contact during a crisis.

Having at least a three day supply of water, non-perishable foods (with a can opener – foods should be easily opened and prepared), and any medications you rely on, is crucial.  You want to be prepared if you were confined to your home for a few days waiting for emergency personnel to reach you.

The basics of a home emergency kit should include a flashlight, batteries, a battery or hand-cranked radio, a whistle, a basic first aid kit, garbage bags, and anything you feel will help you.  You could include a change of clothing, a sleeping bag or blanket. If you have a pet, you will want to prepare for them as well, with food and water.

Medicare beneficiaries may be more vulnerable to the after-effects of a disaster, due to weakened immune systems or challenges to mobility. You can do a few simple things to make any difficult situation easier. If you require medications, medical supplies, or if you undergo regular medical treatments, you should discuss these needs with your physician and ask about their plans in case of emergency.  You should also consider any other needs you may have, including eyeglasses, hearing aids, batteries, or oxygen. Discuss these needs with your physician – they will help you prepare and feel secure.