Make an up-to-date record of everyone's medications (both prescriptions and any over the counter ones, too), plus health insurance information (including ID numbers) and contact information for key medical personnel.
Don't forget IDs or chip details for pets or service animals.
Have this ready to hand, along with contact information for family and other important people.
Most smartphones also allow you to enter your emergency information in a section that can be accessed by first responders (without getting into your other personal information).
Even if you do enter emergency information into a smartphone, it's also a very good idea to include the same information on paper (paper can be read even when batteries are run down).
Listos California offers pre-made Disaster Ready Cards:
Calculate how many days' worth of medications are already in-hand, and make sure there are enough doses for at least a week. If there aren't enough doses of prescription drugs to last that long, arrange to get renewals in advance if at all possible. Don't forget over the counter medications that may be needed to stay clean and comfortable.
Plan for how to keep medications at the right temperatures in a power outage or evacuation situation (using a cooler pack for insulin; or in very low temperatures, using insulation for drugs that should not freeze).
In a pinch, this map application will show pharmacies (and hospitals, urgent care centers, etc.) open during a public emergency:
If a family member is in a care facility, ask these questions about the facility's emergency plans:
Advice for specific diseases, conditions, or concerns:
Anemia or hemophilia
Asthma, COPD, and other breathing disorders
Dementia, including Alzheimers
Disasters can be rough on everyone's mental health (although people can be remarkably resilient, too). But some disasters can make a pre-existing mental illness worse, and/or harder to respond to the emergency. The National Rehabilitation Information Center offers this emergency preparedness advice to people with psychiatric disabilities:
It may be useful to have this 24/7 helpline contact on-hand, in case assistance is needed:
Pregnancy or newborn child
Physical disabilities (mobility-, hearing-, or vision-impaired)
When talking with emergency staff, EMTs, or First Responders, they may ask about "access and functional needs" - that's a catch-all phrase for the kinds of issues or disabilities that may make it harder for someone to move, to react, or to respond to a problem.
Be sure to include service animals' needs in your emergency plan!
Not everyone can be as self-sufficient or as prepared as this family - but with some forethought and creativity, maybe you can find your own solutions!
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