Thursday, January 3, 2013

One Size Does Not Fit All In Emergency Preparedness

You may be tired of seeing me post over and over about how people need to choose their own disaster supplies to work for their individual and family needs. I'm telling you again.

If you or a family member have allergies or other health problems, the medications and equipment for those health problems need to be part of your disaster preparedness supplies. They even need to be in your Go Bag or Go Bags.

If you have an infant in the family, you need supplies in your Go Bags to take care of your infant, including diapers, changes of clothes and formula.

If you have pets to evacuate, you need the supplies for them packed in their Go Bags. I have posts up about the items needed for Go Bags for pets. One of these is papers with proof of vaccination, spaying or neutering and a photo with you and your pet together. These may all be required to be able to put your pet in a shelter.

The standard procedure in a large urban area in the USA, pets will be housed in a shelter for pets that is close to another shelter for humans who belong to those pets. Pets cannot be housed in the same shelter as their people. You may very likely be required to care for your pet in the shelter, including feeding them, so being nearby is essential. This is one of the announcements you want to be alert for - where are these paired shelters for pets and humans located?

There will often be special requirements of emergency supplies for elderly family members. Emergency Supplies lists from different disaster relief agencies will include suggestions for these family members.

If you have a family member in a wheel chair, special arrangements for evacuation may need to be made for them. In my city, for example, the paratransit system will use a database on file with the city Emergency Operations Center to evacuate people who need help, such as people who must use wheel chairs. 

You need to be aware of what the plans for evacuation in your city are. If it is like mine, you need to put your family member who uses a wheel chair in this database. If you do not already know this information, you can contact your Emergency Operations Center, or local Fire Department to find out.

There are already posts on this blog about entertainment for you and your family during and after a disaster. You can only stay excited so long, before boredom sets in. 

I have posts up on sites that tell you how to make your own games to use during and after an emergency. If you make your own games, maybe you can get a better radio or more food. 

Games are something that your family might be more willing than usual to test ahead of time. You can pick the favorites to put in your Go Bags.

This is not an exhaustive list of differences between individuals or families to allow for when doing Emergency Preparedness. I do hope that you will use it as a starting place and keep going.

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