Disaster or Emergency Preparation takes on a whole new meaning when you have a Special Needs Family Member. I was just reading this post about surviving a power outage with a Down Syndrome child and I was reminded of the one I had to deal with when Matthew was little. He was at an age when he loved books on tape and I was lucky enough to have an adequate battery supply so it wasn’t too bad.
But it got me to thinking – just what do we need to have on hand for an emergency that isn’t on your standard Emergency Preparedness Checklist?
When you have a Family Member with Special Needs, preparing for an emergency can be more than just having food, water and medication on hand. It’s also about having access to things that will help them feel comfortable and safe. Like everything is pretty much normal. Where we might be able to say, “well, I can get along without watching TV tonight”, someone with Special Needs might have a real problem missing SpongBob. OK, you might be able to deal with the situation but if it’s something that can be avoided then not only will they feel more secure but you will have a less stressful time.
I think I am fairly well prepared – I have an emergency kit in the car in case something happens away from home. It includes an old pair of running shoes and a jacket. If it’s an evacuation situation then I have a Grab N Go packing list ready so I don’t need to worry that I’ll forget something in the chaos of the moment. Matthew has his own list and we have rehearsed what to do if we need to leave in a hurry. We have a plan for what to do if we aren’t together. I also have extra water and non-perishable food. This one is a bit tricky – Matthew is a very picky eater so I have tried to accommodate him as much as possible but hunger may overcome preference.
Which reminds me…
I really like The Ready Store. I have purchased several items from them and while I was concerned about the prices at first, the quality and service sold me completely. Really good stuff! My favorite purchase is the 72 Hour Emergency Backpack. I could have put my own together but theirs is very comprehensive and compact. I can carry it myself and if Matthew is with me then he can handle it and I can carry other stuff. I also have a radio/generator and keep it in my trunk. That way I have it whether I’m at home or away. I have several other items on my shopping list, such as a solar generator and emergency food kits. Living in Earthquake country, I need to be prepared for a lack of shelter and power.
I know this is something we all think, yea, I’ll get around to it one day but then we never do. Back in 2003 we had an earthquake a few days before Christmas. It wasn’t too bad here but it did knock stuff off of shelves and power was out for a bit. Luckily Matthew was visiting relatives in Kansas so I didn’t have to worry about him. But what if it was worse – and what if he was home? I’m as prepared as I can be and the peace of mind is, as they say, priceless!
Please note that the links to The Ready Store are affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and purchase something, Our Special Families Village will get a commission. These funds help support the site and are very much appreciated!