Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled

survival tips, preparedness, survival, disability

Preparedness is a culture that should be embraced by all kinds of people regardless of the condition of their health. It always pays to be ready for emergencies or disasters, whether you are in tiptop shape or not.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled

If you are sick or have some form of disability, or if you have a close family member who is in such a condition, then you are well aware that there can be value and joy in life despite that condition.

It's also true that we shouldn't let disabilities hold us back when it comes to preparedness and survival. Those who have special needs or disabilities still need to be prepared for a SHTF or emergency situation. Prepping is important to all regardless of ability. At Survival Life, we believe that each life is precious and that we should strive to protect every member of our family.

The following are some preparedness tips for those of you with sick or disabled family members (or who are sick or disabled yourselves.) Remember, we're all in this together.

1. Assemble a disaster supplies kit

In the event you need to evacuate at a moment's notice and take essentials with you, you probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you and your family will need. Every household should assemble a disaster supply kit and keep it up-to-date.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Assemble a disaster supplies kit

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items a family would probably need to stay safe and be more comfortable during and after a disaster. Disaster supplies kit items should be stored in a portable container(s) as close as possible to the exit door.

Review the contents of your kit at least once per year or as your family's needs change. Also, consider having emergency supplies in each vehicle and at your place of employment.

2. Create a plan

Meet with household members or your personal care attendant. Discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies that might occur in your community. Determine what you will need to do for each type of emergency.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Create a plan

For example, most people head for a basement when there is a tornado warning, but most basements are not wheelchair-accessible. Determine in advance what your alternative shelter will be and how you will get there.

3. Be informed

Learn your community’s response and evacuation plans.
Learn the emergency plans and procedures that exist in places you and your family spend time (e.g.workplace, school, child care centers). Develop a communication plan with them. For the full article, click here.

4. Discuss your special needs

Make sure you train family/friends on special needs you may require. If mobility is an issue, discuss, and practice how they can best accommodate you.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Discuss your special needs

In my research, I came across two products I feel could be very beneficial in helping lift an individual. There is a one-pound transfer sling to raise or lower a person from the bed or a vehicle, making transfer to a wheelchair, car, or other area much less straining.

5. Make the home easy to move around in

Early on I was able to build and improve pathways around my house, shop, and barns, using hard-packed granite gravel from sources from the ranch.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Make the home easy to move around in

I was fortunate to have access to equipment and even to this day have some ability to operate that machinery. I have to remind myself daily what can be done, or should not be attempted, with safety being paramount. Continue reading

6. Find ways to adapt

There are many different ways to accomplish your prepping goals, and learning new ways of doing things is invaluable. As long as you have your basics covered, then there is really no right way of prepping. Such as… I store my water in smaller containers, and I have a “dolly” to move those containers if I need to.

Also, my “bug out/72 hour” kit is in a wheeled “Igloo” cooler, so that I can move it easily, and also because it is something that I can sit on if I need to rest while evacuating the area. Click here for the full post.

7. Build your support group

Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate your equipment.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Build your support group

Discuss your needs with your employer.

If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building during a disaster. The more people who know where you are and the need for assistance, the better. See more

8. Consider the physical demands

Some people have circumstances where they may be confined to a wheelchair or bedridden. To make matters worse; they may rely on portable oxygen or even some sort of suction device to stay alive. We know if the grid goes down, so will these folks. If you are going to need these items, start making plans now.

Your local hospitals should have a good supply of portable oxygen tanks. If you require necessities that use electricity; the hospitals are equipped with backup generators. So plan a quick and easy bug-out plan to the hospital if need be.

I know they will be overwhelmed, but you may not have a choice. Keep in mind, that this will be very stressful for the person you are providing care for. So try your best to help them through this. Stress alone can agitate a condition beyond needed.

9. Learn a new skill

Learn a useful skill you can use to increase your usefulness to others. Unfortunately, many in our society value people only for what they can do, and this quite probably will become more pronounced in a crisis.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Learn a new skill

Learn to fix broken equipment, mend clothing and shoes, or other low or no-tech ways of doing things that have been forgotten in modern times.

If you can fix things, sew, or make a photographed duplicator (a non-electric mimeograph), you might find a new niche for yourself.

10. Remember your medications

Obviously, take your medications with you. If your meds need to be refrigerated, have a small ice chest and cold packs available.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Remember your medications

Ask your doctors for copies of your prescriptions that you can keep in a file.

11. Bring a copy of your medical history

You need to have a medical history written up, in case you need to see another doctor who is not familiar with your case.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Bring a copy of your medical history

Include a list of all your doctor’s addresses and phone numbers. Place these in your emergency file.

12. Stock up on supplies

You should keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of you and your family for at least three days. Build an emergency supply kit to take with you in an evacuation.

The basics to stock in your portable kit include water, food, battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries, first aid supplies, change of clothing, blanket or sleeping bag, wrench or pliers, whistle, dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, trash bags, map, a manual can opener for canned food and special items for infants, elderly, the sick or people with disabilities.

Keep these items in an easy to carry container such as a covered trash container, a large backpack, or a duffel bag. Click here to read the whole article.

13. Other Important Items

Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.

Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.

Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled | Other Important Items

Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify any disabilities that may not be visually obvious to a stranger.

Just like any other survival skill, it is important to practice your emergency plan through regular drills. Imagine the worst and practice for that. See more

Want to know more? Check out these related articles:

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Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here.

Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on March 16, 2022, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Disaster Preparedness Tips for the Sick or Disabled

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