Planning for Emergencies
As the provider of your medical equipment / supplies, we at One Source Medical Supply LLC would like to offer you some information regarding planning for emergencies, disasters, and other unexpected situations. Some examples of emergencies and natural disasters would be earthquakes, floods, fire, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, power outages, etc. If you have recently moved to an unfamiliar geographic area, it would be a good idea to acquaint yourself with the more common and most likely types of natural disasters that occur where you live. In the event of such an occurrence, it is important that you are aware of some things that you can do to help ensure that you continue to receive your equipment, supplies, and/or services in a timely manner. The following are some recommendations to guide you in making your emergency plan.
Review Your Emergency Plan
Review emergency plans and procedures with your family and any caregivers you may have. Make sure your plans include:
- All your health and medical needs, including healthcare-related legal documents
- Medical equipment and supplies that you need on an ongoing basis
- Medications that you are taking
- Evacuation plans (alternate shelter)
- Family, physician, hospital and other healthcare organizations communications (911 and other phone numbers)
- Care for pets, as applicable
Prepare Your Equipment and Supplies
- Gather enough food, water, medication, and other life sustaining necessities (including medical equipment and supplies) for at least one week, preferably two weeks.
- Make sure that you keep with you written copies of the instructions for the use, maintenance, and cleaning of essential medical devices, such as wheelchairs, nebulizers, CPAP or BiLevel machines, and oxygen devices.
Keep Track of Your Medications
- Keep a list of all your medications handy and updated. This will include the names of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications you are taking, their dosage, and how often you are to take them.
- Make sure that all of your medication containers are properly labeled and seal them in waterproof zip-type plastic bags.
Be Aware of the Location(s) of the Nearest Emergency Shelter(s)
You should consider evacuation as early as possible, even if it may prove later to be unnecessary, because of the challenges faced by those with special health needs. To prepare for a possible evacuation:
- Contact the American Red Cross for information on shelters.
- Find out if there are alternate shelters in the event that you are not able to reach the designated shelters.
- Discuss electrical needs for essential equipment (e.g., refrigeration for food and medication, air conditioning, heating, oxygen concentrators, nebulizers, ventilators, suction machines, etc.) with your family members, caregivers, and emergency shelter personnel.
- The criteria for staying in a special needs shelter varies by state or local government guidelines. In general, special needs shelters provide supervised care and shelter to a limited number of people requiring assistance due to pre-existing health conditions. You may qualify to stay at a special needs shelter if you are:
- Dependent on electricity to operate medical equipment
- In need of assistance with medication, injections, or simple dressing changes
- Receiving dialysis
- Receiving hospice services
- Demonstrating mild dementia, without abusive or wandering behavior.