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Itís Too Late: Planning for an Emergency /
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Before Itís Too Late:
Planning for an
By Hilary Gibson, Staff Writer
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
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.
During a disaster, anything that can
move, fall, break or cause a fire is considered to be an
added hazard. Before an emergency situation happens,
itís a good idea to go around your home and look
specifically for items that might pose a danger to you
and your loved one during a disaster. Make sure that
shelving is securely fastened to the walls, and that any
large, heavy objects are placed on lower shelves or on
the floor. Also, hang pictures and mirrors away from
beds; larger pictures or mirrors should be bolted to the
Observe electrical wiring around your
home, and repair any wires found to be defective or
hazardous. Have a shut-off valve or switch for oxygen
equipment near your loved oneís bed or chair, so they
(or you) can turn it off quickly if there is a fire.
Itís a good idea to secure your water heater by
strapping it to a nearby wall in order to keep it from
falling over during a disaster. Repair cracks found in
the ceilings or foundation and brace any overhead light
fixtures. If you have a chimney, have a professional
inspect it for any cracks or weak spots, and have the
appropriate repairs made. Invest in fire extinguishers
and smoke detectors. 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.