Be prepared at home to make special accommodations to stay healthy in the event of a disaster especially when help may not be available right away. Below are some tips to help stop a public disaster from becoming a personal medical emergency:
Keep a first aid kit including:
- Extra bandages, gauze compresses, and first aid tape.
- Antiseptic wipes, creams, etc., as needed.
- Pain relief medicines, antacids, cough medicines (including infants'/children's if appropriate).
- Three to four days' supply of medications for each person who is on a regular medical regimen (store copies of prescriptions if possible).
For the elderly:
- Keep a list of the medications and dosages household members take, or copies of all your prescription slips with doctors' names and phone numbers.
- If you rely on medical equipment that requires electric power, contact your medical supply company and power provider for information regarding a back-up power source and the life-sustaining equipment customer service phone listing.
- If you rely on oxygen, talk to your oxygen supplier about emergency replacements.
- Consider storing three days' worth of diabetes supplies, which, depending on how you take care of your diabetes, could include oral medication, insulin, insulin delivery supplies, lancets, extra batteries for your meter and/or pump, and a quick-acting source of glucose.
- Have an extra glucagon emergency kit on hand.
For the hard of hearing:
- Practice communicating your needs through gestures, note cards, text messages, or other means.
- Prepare something now that describes your needs in short, meaningful phrases. You may not have much time to get your message across. Prewritten cards or text messages can help you share information during a stressful or uncomfortable situation.
- Keeping a 3-day supply of at least 1 gallon of clean water per person for hydration and safe food preparation.
- All water of uncertain purity should be treated before use. To treat water, boil it for about 1 minute before cooling it. For more information on preparing for an emergency, visit the Emergencies and Events page at www.nyc.gov.
These tips have been adapted from information provided by the American Diabetes Association, National Crime Prevention Council, Federal Emergency Management Agency, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the World Health Organization.