It is often assumed that a family member who is ill after a disaster will be cared for in a hospital. In many disasters, hospitals are overwhelmed and cannot cope with more people. Part of your preparedness must be knowing how to care for a family member who is ill, at home.
Here is some information from the Center for Disease Control on how to do this:
The Flu: Caring for Someone Sick at Home
5 steps to take if you get the flu
- Stay at home and rest.
- Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you won’t make them sick.
- Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration).
- Treat fever and cough with medicines you can buy at the store.
- If you get very sick or are pregnant or have a medical condition that puts you at higher risk of flu complications (like asthma...), call your doctor. You might need antiviral medicine to treat flu.
Make a Sick Room
- Make a Sick Room, if You Can
- Follow the Sick Room Rules
- How to Clean the Sick Room
- Tips for Caregivers
Prevent Fluid Loss
- Tips to Prevent Fluid Loss (Dehydration)
- Check for Fluid Loss
- When to Get Medical Help for Fluid Loss
This link below will give you thorough instructions on how to care for a sick person in your home. I believe it is a good idea to print it out, if you don't already have this information, and include it in your first aid kit. This is not something to leave to the last minute to learn. You can read it as soon as you print it out and pass it along to other family members as well. It is not possible to predict who might be stricken with illness, so it would be best for all family members who are able to understand it, to know how to care for the other family members.
Here is a list of supplies you will need to be prepared to care for a sick person at home from the pamphlet above:
Trash can with lid and lined with a plastic trash bag
Alcohol-based hand rub
Cooler or pitcher with ice and drinks
Cup with straw or squeeze bottle to help with
Humidifier (A machine that puts tiny drops of
water into the air. This extra moisture can make it
easier for the sick person to breathe.)
Facemasks (Sick people should wear a facemask if
available when they leave the sick room or are
around other people.)
I have put additional sick room supplies for emergency preparedness in my next post. They are personal observations that you can take or leave. I do not consider myself an expert.