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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Caregiver Emergency Plan /   Editorial List  

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 Caregiver Emergency Plan

It is a great pleasure to travel the country talking to family caregivers in urban and rural cities.  I have met so many gracious folks and feel a special kinship to all of these communities. It was with intense sadness that I watched the news last weekend about two of these citiesóMinneapolis, Minnesota and Joplin, Missouri and this week as more tornados struck wide areas in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

 This news coming after the tornados that tore through one of my old stomping grounds, Birmingham, Alabama.   There is, of course, no rhyme or reason to nature; and as a native Floridian, I know all too well that every region has stereotypical weather challenges.  As family caregivers, it is even more important for us to follow the age-old Boy Scout motto:  Be prepared. 

FAMILY CAREGIVER EMERGENCY CARE LIST 

  • A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries. 
  • A first-aid kit, prescription medicines, and an extra pair of glasses. 
  • A supply of water (one gallon per person per day); store water in sealed, unbreakable containers and replace every six months; a supply of non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener, plus any special foods your loved one may require. 
  • Include extra products like adult diapers, wipes, lotion, and other hygiene items that donít need water in order to use. 
  • Have extra wheelchair batteries charged and ready to go. 
  • Have on-hand full oxygen tanks, extra medications, catheters, food for guide or service dogs, and any other special equipment needed. 
  • A change of clothing and rain gear for your loved one, and sturdy shoes for you.
  • Extra blankets or sleeping bags. 
  • The list of family physicians, relatives or friends who should be notified if you or your loved one are injured. 
  • A list of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers or special batteries for essential medical equipment. 
  • An extra set of car keys.

There are many things that caregivers can do to help themselves and their loved ones prepare for any type of emergency or disaster, but it is best to be ready well in advance, before a dire situation arises. Remember to contact your local fire department or your communityís emergency management office for help with your preparations.

Support the communities affected by the recent tornados

 

Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief

gary@caregiver.com