The storm coming our way has a potential to be substantial. While bread and milk might be on the top of many lists, there are special considerations we have to make.
You may always be somewhat prepared for anything. But there is a good chance we’ll be snowed in for several days. High winds and heavy snow can down power lines. Even if this is all hype, we need to take it seriously.
Here are some guidelines to make sure you’ve got every necessity on your checklist.
Make sure all of your prescriptions are filled. If you or your child has a condition that can flare up without warning– see if your doctor can fax a prescription to your pharmacy just in case. Many families keep oral steroids on hand for asthma, pneumonia or other health issues.
If you haven’t already, talk to your doctors about having emergency prescriptions on hand; that way all you have to do is call your doctor about dosage, length of treatment, and follow up if something does happen.
Make sure all of your essential devices are charged. Keep car chargers on hand in case the power goes out. There are even portable chargers that also serve as flashlights that you can keep on hand for emergencies.
It is imperative to have a cell phone charged in the event that landlines (if you still have one) go out.
Not only should you clear your walkways, but alert neighbors, family members, business owners, and whoever will listen to clear theirs. Snow makes it difficult for anyone in a wheelchair or with mobility issues to get around. Piling snow on curb cutouts and ramps is particularly problematic. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this. It’s our job to politely remind them and hopefully they’ll start spreading the word too.
Don’t forget to pick up salt when you’re storm shopping or ask someone to grab some for you. It might not get icy right away. But when the snow starts melting and then freezing at night – the ice will be a big problem and you might not be able to get to the store to get some at that point.
Distilled water for the humidifier. Diapers. Wipes. Hearing aid batters. Wound care. Needles. Equipment for your G-Tube. Think about the things you often need from the pharmacy or medical supply store for and make sure you have them.
FOOD AND DRINK
Be sure to stock up on whatever you need to fulfill your dietary needs. If you or your child requires purees – try to have some extras on hand in case the power goes out. Or invest in a food mill if you don’t have one already. If there are food obsessions, make sure to have plenty of whatever it is you or your child is fixated on at the moment.
The beautiful thing about a snowstorm is that if the power does go out, we can store food outside so it doesn’t spoil.
If it’s not necessary for you to have a caregiver with you at all times, strongly consider giving them the day/weekend off. You should also give them ample time to get home so they are not commuting when conditions are dangerous.
If having a caregiver is a must, be sure to work out a plan with them so they can be there. If there is a chance they’ll have to stay over, try to make arrangements in advance so they are as comfortable as possible.
If your caregiver is employed through an agency – check with the agency on what their snow day policy is and if they help provide transportation when public transportation is shut down.
Losing power is an inconvenience for some and life threatening for others. Make sure you have everything you need for your special needs. Fuel for your generator? Back up wheelchair is working? CPAP machine fully charged? Batteries for portable nebulizer? Consider every need and scenario and make sure you’re covered in case you can’t leave your home for several days.
If you are at risk staying home because of the dangers the storm may bring, consider staying with friends, family, or even a hotel that you know has generators so you know you are safe.
PLAN FOR PETS AND SERVICE ANIMALS
If you have a pet or a service animal – make sure its needs are being met as well. Does your cat have all of the food he will need? If you are unable to leave your home, do you have someone available to walk your dog?
EMERGENCY SUPPORT GROUP
If you haven’t already, be sure to set up an emergency support group. Pick at least 3 people to check on your in an emergency to make sure you’re okay. Your group can be made up of friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, people from your community or your place of worship.
Make sure they know how to contact you. You should also make sure someone you trust has a spare set of keys so they can access your home during an emergency.