Preparing for an emergency: 4 things you didn’t know you needed
(BPT) - Natural disasters are becoming more and more common. The fact is that unexpected things can happen at any time. Disasters come in every form imaginable and the last thing that you want is to be unprepared to face them. A little bit of strategic preparation can help you weather any storm thrown your way. Here is a list of a few things you need to make sure you’re ready:
1. Have cash handy.
It sounds ridiculous in today’s society of credit cards and contactless pay to say that people should keep cash on hand. But the reality is that all electronic forms of currency are essentially worthless if there is an extended power outage. You don’t need to have tens of thousands of dollars stashed under the mattress, but having enough to pay for groceries and other essentials for a few weeks can help you get through an extended crisis without undue stress.
2. Create an emergency action plan.
Think about how you will receive emergency warnings and what your family plan is when you do. During these times, you may be asked to shelter-in-place or to evacuate. Be prepared for both and make sure that your family knows your evacuation routes in advance to help everyone react quickly and be ready to go if a warning is issued. It’s wise to pick two places for your family to meet if you have to leave your home unexpectedly: one that is right outside of your home in case of a smaller emergency like a house fire, and a second place that is outside of your neighborhood in case you need to evacuate farther away for safety reasons. Planning ahead will also give you peace of mind if there is a widespread communications outage and cell phones don’t work.
3. Prepare a complete medical emergency kit.
Assemble a complete emergency kit that is stocked with enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of everyone in your household for at least three days. Select a waterproof container and also make sure to include a first aid kit with an adequate supply of your family’s current medications to last several days. The CDC shared a helpful list of what to include such as antiseptics, pain relievers, bandages and more.
Also, it’s critical to keep a digital copy of your medical records for you and your family members to have on hand as well. Current law requires that providers give you access to your records and a free app like DrOwl provides a “one-stop shop” tool that can help you easily access and understand them. You have the right to your records, and being proactive about organizing medical records and any vital health information related to your conditions, vaccinations, allergies, medications, etc., in one easy-to-access location helps ensure they are quickly accessible, especially in times of an emergency.
4. Electronically save important family documents.
Most people know about the importance of certain documents such as a driver’s license or will, however, they don’t consider the fact that in an emergency they may not be readily accessible. If a disaster were to occur, what would you do without any documentation at all? It’s vital to keep digital copies of essential things like identification, birth certificates, medical directives and powers of attorney in an electronic form until the originals can be replaced.
Nobody ever wants to face the challenges of a real-life emergency, but having key information and tools at the ready will help make any situation less stressful. For more help on planning and organizing medical documents, check out DrOwl.com, a new, first-of-its-kind, health and wellness platform that gives you secure and accurate access to your family’s health information, available for iOS, Android and Desktop.