Instead, you want to assemble a kit that provides emergency help when you need it, sufficient tools that can help you wait for first responders, if needed. Here is how to assemble such a kit.
A first aid kit is a handy way to respond to an emergency. You might want to consider building two kits: one for the home and one for the car. That way, you are never without an emergency kit to respond as needed.
Clearly, you can buy a ready-made emergency kit at a store, at your local Red Cross chapter or choose to assemble one yourself. With either option, you should include those things that matter to you the most such as emergency contact phone numbers for your doctors and your health care provider.
Moreover, you will want to check the kit regularly to ensure that there are sufficient items stocked and in date. Get in the habit of going through your kit on a regular basis to replace and discard outdated medications. Take those expired medications to your town’s recycling center — never flush these down the drain.
Building Your Emergency Kit
Choose a kit that reflects your family size. For larger families, a backpack can hold everything that they need. If you can find one in red, that’s ideal as it signifies to all that you have an emergency kit on hand.
Place a first aid instruction book in the kit, a handy booklet to have on hand to help guide you through each step. Find one with sketches or pictures that show you how to handle each step in the first aid process. Any bookstore should have one or check with your local Red Cross chapter.
The following should also be included: tweezers, scissors, a nonglass oral thermometer, roller bandages, sterile gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, adhesive cloth tape, adhesive bandages, a cold compress, antibiotic packets, 81 mpg aspirin, hydrocortisone ointment, nonlatex gloves, a breathing barrier and a blanket.
People With Disabilities
If a loved one has a disability, this individual has special needs that go beyond what a basic emergency kit can provide. This may include using adaptive equipment to help bath and groom the patient. If water service is cut off, what back up plan is available to get you hot water in an emergency?
For some people, electricity-dependent equipment is a lifesaver. These may include a kidney dialysis machine or an electrical lift. What back up source of power do you have for an emergency?
Making a Plan
When disaster strikes, an emergency plan can help people leave their homes for safety. This may include securing transportation to get from the home to an emergency shelter either by personal vehicle or outside help. it is important for people with service animals to know that they can go to a place where such workers are welcome too.
For seniors who need to evacuate and bring an emergency kit with them, there are several important steps to take. Before the emergency strikes, a support network should be in place. Exchanging keys with someone you trust is a good first step. Also, you will want to show your team where your emergency supplies and kit are kept.
Keep copies of your important emergency contact paperwork in a place that can easily be retrieved. Provide your physician information, your current prescriptions and where they are filled and make a copy of your health insurance card. Have a plan in place to get you to a safe place and back. Keep a fully charged cell phone and backup battery with you.
Customize a first aid kit and emergency contact list that reflects your special needs. An off the shelf kit may work for some families, but it does include the prescriptions and some of the medicines you need.
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