The hurricane coming our way has the potential to be substantial and widespread. While toilet paper and water might be on the top of many lists, there are special considerations we have to make.

Given how wet this summer has been, adding more rain and high winds can wash away roads and knock down power lines. Some Virginians need to be prepared to evacuate, while others need to be ready for a big, wet mess.

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. Consider getting a portable charger with a flashlight for storms and every day emergencies.

It is imperative to have a cell phone charged in the event that landlines (if you still have one) go out.


If you are in an area prone to flooding, consider how you’ll get out if you need to. You should also alert neighbors and family members of your whereabouts so they can help you if needed.



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.


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 aversions, make sure to have plenty of whatever it is you or your child is will eat.


If it’s not necessary for you to have a caregiver with you at all times, strongly consider giving them the time off if they need it. You should also give them ample time to get to and from work 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 inclement weather 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.


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?




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.

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