Are you prepared in the event of a severe weather, flooding, disaster or other types of emergencies that could leave you with out electrical power or unsafe conditions that would make you unable to remain in your home? Having an emergency preparedness plan is even more important when one is facing an illness or condition that requires life-saving medication like insulin or vital medical equipment such as an oxygen tank or respirator.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are great places to start as you determine your needs and begin to formulate a strategy to ensure you have what you need to manage your condition or illness. You should have a conversation with your medical professional about the best strategies for managing your medical care during a disaster or emergency, but here are a few tips that can help you or a loved one get ready:
Create a Family Communication and Emergency Plan
Have a discussion with your family and loved ones about how you will communicate in the event of an emergency. Set up a meeting place and determine how each family member will get there. Have an out-of-state friend be a point of contact that each family member can call with updated information about their location or circumstances. And formulate an evacuation plan if local officials determine that your area will be unsafe for you to remain where you are.
Use this template from FEMA to document your family emergency plan. Or you can use this version from the American Red Cross. Also document your family communication plan.
Stockpile the Basics
MEMA advices that you make sure you have at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food and water sufficient for at least three days, flashlight, batteries and first aid supplies. Be sure to have chilled ice packs on hand to help keep medications requiring refrigeration cold for as long as possible. Here are the items you should have on hand for a disaster supply kit.
Prescription Medication and Devices
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that you have one-to-two week’s supply of your prescription medications on hand in case you aren’t able to immediately get to the pharmacy for a refill. Make sure you have printed list with the names of the medications you take, dosages, and prescription numbers. You should also have information for any medically prescribed devices like eyeglasses or oxygen tanks.
Vital Medical Devices
If you have a medical device that requires electrical power such as an apnea monitor or respirator, check whether it has a battery backup and how long it will last. Try to locate a generator that you can use until power is restored. If you do find a generator, ensure you’re using it properly to avoid carbon monoxide problems. Notify your fire department or electric company and let them know have a medical device that needs power.
Medical Contact List
Create a list of medical providers and their phone numbers. That list should include phone numbers for your family doctor, pediatrician, local hospital emergency room and urgent care center.
Medical Alert Necklace or Bracelets
If you have a medical alert bracelet or necklace, make certain you or your loved one are wearing it in the event first responders need to provide emergency assistance.
Call Righttime Medical 1-888-808-6483 for an appointment at any of our convenient locations. Righttime is open 365 days a year and welcomes walk-in patients anytime, while also offering same-day appointments online or via its Call Center. Services include x-rays, laboratory testing, patient portal, and electronic health records which are shared with patients' physicians, specialists and collaborating medical institutions. For more information, visit myRighttime.com.
Food and Drug Administration
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency