Emergency Preparedness

Whether we earned the badge or not, there is probably not a person around who doesn’t know the slogan from the Boy and Girl Scouts – Be Prepared. We all know this important message, but how many of us heed those words?

We have such unpredictable weather patterns these days – hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, and rains the equivalent of monsoons - and the reality is we are all just one or two weather systems away from a natural disaster knocking at our front door.   You can pick up the newspaper or turn on the Weather Channel on television or via your computer and see that the weather remains a riveting headline news story.

For me, the most difficult service to lose during a storm would be my electrical power.  Our home is all electric, and if I were to lose that power I would save a lot on the monthly bill, but I would also lose essential service to my home.  I could live by the cycle of the sun and moon and go to bed when it gets dark, and rise with the sun, and I have plenty of candles to give some ambiance to darkened rooms,  but I would not have hot water, or the ability to cook on my stove.  My refrigerator would have to be emptied and everything perishable would be gone.  If I were still on an injectable drug that would mean my prefilled syringes would also be at risk.

Fortunately there is no one living in my house living with  a serious health problem that requires equipment powered by electricity, but if there were any outage that could pose a serious threat.  Do you know that all power companies have a special registry to get your address on a list of priority properties to repair first in the event of a power outage?  If you use a ventilator or other equipment this may be obvious, but what about your medical need for air conditioning or heat?  Those needs for the health of a person living with MS will also allow you to be placed on the medical priority repair list with your local utility company.  Keep in mind that even if you are on this list, you will still be waiting for power restoration if there is wide-scale damage because they must fix the major problems first.

If you were without power for an extended period of time, do you have a plan for where you might go to wait?  Think of friends, family or even neighbors who might welcome you.  What about your drugs – would you have the   prescription drugs available that keep you up and moving?  You might create a small first aid kit and stock it with doses of your meds to get you through a day or two.

If you live in areas with winter storms, do you have someone in your neighborhood who can help with clearing your sidewalks and driveway?  It is helpful to know who that snow angel might be in advance of finding several inches of the dreaded white stuff blocking the exit from your home.

Taking time to Be Prepared now can make a big difference later.  What plans do you have if Mother Nature comes knocking at your door?   I’ve got to run now …  I have plans to make.

Wishing you well,


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