More often than not, when someone thinks of survival they imagine a strong, healthy 20-30 year old male ready to hike mountains, cross rivers and sprint away from danger. But, that’s not necessarily the case – actually, that’s hardly ever the case. The truth is at some point in time, we’re all going to have to survive. Whether a crazy natural disaster strikes, the economy collapses, or some other catastrophic event occurs, we all need to be prepared. Some of us will have no issues, most of us will struggle, and for some, the chances of surviving seem hopeless.
If you or someone you care about is disabled, elderly, or has any kind of special need, it is URGENT that you begin to prepare now. Just because surviving might be a little trickier, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With the following tips, you could learn how to save your life or the lives of those you love who couldn’t make it without your support.
Building a Support Group
As someone with disabilities, it’s likely much harder for you to accomplish certain tasks without help. This is why it’s very important for you to build a support group that’ll help you stay alive during a catastrophe. Those you decide to make a part of your support group should be people that you trust entirely, without a doubt. They may be family members, friends, or someone that helps take care of you already, such as a nurse.
Everyone in your support group should be aware of all your needs, no matter how big or small. They should know what medications you take and when, just in case you need to be reminded. These people need to know where to meet you in the case of a disaster, whether it be your home or an outside location, assuming your disability allows you to make it there.
Creating a Plan
The most essential thing you can do to ensure your safety in harsh conditions is creating and carrying out a plan that fits your or your loved ones needs. Are you going to be able to leave your house? Do you plan on having someone rescue you, such as a friend or family member? If you’re forced out of your house, what do you need to survive? If you plan on staying in your home due to disabilities, do you live far away enough from society to stay safe and secure? If not, you might want to think about moving elsewhere.
These are all vital things to consider and whatever plan you decide upon should be organized, printed out, and given to everyone that’s a part of your plan. Also, a copy of your own should be kept in an easily accessible place.
If you do plan on leaving home, be sure you have everything that you need to survive for an extended period of time; once you’re gone, you might not be able to return.
Things to consider:
• Keeping a cooler for medication that needs to be refrigerated
• Choosing one or more out-of-town contacts
• Multiple escape routes and safe havens
• Mobility aids and ramps
• Taking care of your pets
• Stocking up on gas/supplies for the road
If you’re taking the other route and bugging in, make sure to have lots of non-perishable food in your home that’ll last you an extended amount of time. Keep a generator for back-up electricity, especially if you require electricity-dependent medical items such as an oxygen tank to help with breathing. You’ll probably also want to make your home as handicap friendly as possible, allowing you to access anything you need promptly.
Disaster Supply Kit
Regardless of your plan or condition, you always need to have a disaster supply kit ready for a variety of emergency situations. It’ll help you survive through a few days of traveling in case you’re forced to leave your home. The kit should be lightweight enough that you can carry it around without overexerting yourself. Even if you can only manage carrying a few pounds, it’s better than not carrying anything at all. When creating your disaster supply kit, think of what’s most important and what will be most beneficial to you and your needs.
• Water (to last up to 3 days)
• Food (to last up to 3 days)
• Flashlight & Batteries
• First Aid Kit
• All necessary medication (to last up to 3 days)
• Surgical mask
If you’re a diabetic, it’d also be wise to keep fruit juice, lollipops, or some other type of candy in the disaster supply kit in case you’re blood sugar becomes too low.
If you’re not already stocking up on medication, you need to start immediately. What happens if you can’t get to a pharmacy to retrieve your medicine? What do you do then? The truth is there’s very little to anything that you could do – that’s why you have to do something about it now.
I’m sure you’re wondering how you’re going to get a surplus of medication that’s prescribed over the counter to you. Many people choose to get their refill 3-7 days early, allowing them to save several extra pills a month.
Those with medical conditions that allow them to skip a pill here and there may choose to do so in order to stock up quicker. Please do not skip your medication, however, if you know you absolutely need it. There’s no point in preparing for an emergency if you’re making your current situation worse by doing so.
After saving up medication for a year or two, begin taking a bottle of your saved medication and replacing it with your new bottle. This ensures no medication expires in the process, even though most prescriptions last far longer than the printed expiration date.
There are numerous amounts of other things that can be done to help prepare you in the face of danger. You might consider learning a new skill each week, such as how to start a fire, or tie a rope correctly. You’d be surprised how important your basic Boy Scout skills can be in an actual catastrophe.
I’d also advise you to buy some type of communication tool, such as a walkie talkie, to help keep in contact with those in your support group. They may wander off in search of something, get lost, and need help finding their way back.
Finally, you might also want to wear a medical alert tag or bracelet to ensure everyone around you is aware of your condition. This can be helpful, and even critical, in certain situations.