Hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc on the Caribbean and now part of the southeastern US. Millions of people evacuated while millions more ‘weathered out’ the storm in shelters and secure buildings. In all of those scenarios, daily life was drastically altered.
When you take chronic medications, they are a part of your daily routine. When that routine is upset, medications can be missed. Or, in the excitement, they can be taken more than once.
In emergencies, you might forget to grab them as you evacuate. Or, the emergency can take place right as you are taking your last dose. Then what?
Preparing for Emergencies
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a program called Ready. You can find it at www.ready.gov. One of the many valuable resources is a list of items to include in an Emergency Supply Kit. You can get the full list here. The items that I want to emphasize are:
- Prescription medications – at least 3 days; more depending on the emergency
- Include inhalers, eye drops, and patches
- Include the medications you only take when you need them
- Include any ‘just in case’ medications such as an epinephrine injectable or migraine therapy injectable if one has been prescribed for you
- Supplies such as syringes for insulin
- Take your glasses even if you usually wear contacts
- Take the supplies for your contacts
- Take your reading glasses if you just wear those as needed
- Feminine supplies
- Urinary incontinence supplies
- Ambulation devices – such as a cane
- Sturdy shoes – you might be in a situation where you are not walking on an even surface
- Hand sanitizer
- Warm, dry change of clothes and a blanket (in a water proof bag if in wet conditions)
- Written list of:
- allergies, including what happens if you take that medication or eat that food
- medical conditions
The available lists provide step-by-step guidance on what and how to prepare for emergencies. There is another good one available through the Centers for Disease Control found here. Note, if you live in an area where natural events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, or wildfires are not uncommon, it will help to pack these emergency kits before the danger season. You will save yourself tremendous time and stress.
I have one more important fact about your prescriptions and associated medical supplies to share. When the threat of the emergency is known ahead of time, and you are nearly out of medication, make getting your refills a priority. You will not be alone trying to get more medication. Your pharmacist and their staff will appreciate the advanced notice. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration waiting in long lines to get medication when you need to be doing so many other things to prepare. In the high-risk seasons, be extra vigilant about dwindling medication supplies.
I do want to share that I hear heroic stories of pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and others assuring their patients have what they need in the worst of circumstances. I am grateful for such dedication!
For more information about emergency preparedness, contact us at www.medsmash.com/contact.
I have had two songs going through my head this week as I’ve prayed for the people in the path of Hurricane Matthew. One is ‘Eye of the Storm’ by Ryan Stevenson. You can find a link here. The other is a song that is frequently sung by the Maryland State Boychoir, ‘The Storm is Crossing Over’. One of the moms posted this recording.
It’s interesting how often STORMS are found in the Bible. In nature they can be ferocious and devastating. And wow, isn’t the same true of the storms that brew up inside of us?
Remember in Matthew (and in Mark 4) when Jesus was taking a nap in the boat?
Matthew 8:23-27 ESV
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
Do you often feel weak and helpless in these storms? There’s no doubt we will face them. Again, you find reference to them all through the Bible. So, how do we prepare for them, survive them, and move on from them?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Besides Hurricane Matthew, one of the ‘storms’ weighing heavy on my mind right now is all of the war, turmoil, and conflict in the world. A dear friend is active duty as of this weekend and will be deployed this week. He has a loving wife and young children. And we all know he is not alone in this situation. I am holding in prayer those deployed, those in all layers of leadership, and those on the ‘other side’ who don’t want to be doing this and are caught in an ugly situation.
Psalm 46:10 ESV
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Nahum 1:7 ESV
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Praise be to God, our strength in the storm.
Image source: http://www.ready.gov