Disaster Preparedness for Special Needs Populations: Survival Kits for Disabled and Elderly

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Put together a disaster survival kit for an elderly or disabled person to save a life in the event of an emergency. Kits prepare you for earthquakes and other events…and we hear a lot about those. We just don’t often hear about Disaster Preparedness for Special Needs Populations.

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The elderly and disabled are extremely vulnerable during natural disasters, and may not be aware of necessary measures for their protection. FEMA doesn’t exactly cover this.

Disaster Preparedness for Special Needs Populations

Emergency preparedness kits are simple to compile and can save the life of someone as he awaits rescue or aid. Supply of critical medication, food items, a first aid kit, and items for comfort should be part of emergency gear added to a disaster survival kit for an elderly or disabled person.

Critical Medicine for an Emergency Preparedness Kit:

Whether you’re putting together an emergency kit for a friend or family member, or assisting him in the process of putting a kit together, remember that medications may play a critical role in his survival.

Anyone with a life-threatening condition should ensure that the emergency kit contains a supply of all necessary medications. Create a mini-kit of perishable medications to be kept in the refrigerator in an insulated container such as a thermos. In the event of an emergency, these medications will remain cool during the wait for rescue or other assistance.

First Aid Kits are Part of a Well-Prepared Disaster Survival Kit:

In an emergency or natural disaster, there may be minor or major injuries. Including a well-stocked first-aid emergency kit with other disaster supplies help to prevent the injuries from becoming even more serious due to neglect.

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The kit should include bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and other common items, as well as a first-aid manual to help in the treatment of injuries or illness.

Food Items to Include in an Emergency Supply Kit:

Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are essential additions to an emergency supply kit. Meals-Ready-To-Eat, also known as MRE’s, are a military staple and will not go bad in storage. Please pay careful attention to the nutritional needs of the individual who may be using the emergency supply kit when you put it together.

A senior citizen who has diabetes, for example, should have foods in her kit that will not cause blood sugar problems. Food allergies could also cause a reaction, so ingredients should be examined carefully.

Also, at least three gallons of water should be included in the emergency supply kit, enough to last one person for three days. For more information, read the list of suggested foods at Ready.Gov.

Comfort Items in an Emergency Supply List:

Personal cleanliness is important to avoid disease and infection after a disaster. Including anti-bacterial wipes, toilet tissues, and other cleansing products improves the comfort level of a senior or disabled person during an emergency.

Incontinence undergarments, or adult diapers, may also be necessary. A blanket, extra clothing, a flashlight, a radio, and extra batteries are all helpful additions to an emergency supply list as well.

Compiling disaster survival kits for loved ones who may need special care during an emergency can increase their chance of survival during the wait for emergency personnel. Emergency supply kits are simple to put together but should contain enough food, medical supplies, and supplies to ensure comfort during emergencies.

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