Are You Stocked in Case of Emergency?
First it's tornado season, heat waves, then hurricanes.
Flooding, undrinkable water, power outages, all occur around the United States within a six month period. And that's not even counting the ice and snow storms that can barricade us in our houses during the winter months.
Bad weather causes pain and suffering for everyone, young and old alike, year-round, but if you order wholesale medical supplies, or have your insurance provide your durable medical equipment, then you must have an emergency back up plan to protect yourself in case of scenarios like these.
Here are our tips for your emergency plan:
- Always, always have extra battery packs and hand chargers for you or your caregiver.
If the power goes, you don't want to only have one battery pack to back you up as you don't know how long the outage will be.
- If you can, make a plan with your neighbors as well as your local family, friends, or caregiver.
Your neighbors are close and can come help usually more quickly than a family member across town. Get to know them and talk to them about your needs.
- Keep extra stock of your products in your house and your car.
Urinary catheters, colostomy supplies, incontinence pads- You should have extra stock in any product that you need to function. Don't only keep a 30 day supply around the house. If people can not get in and out of a weather ravaged area, delivery trucks are not likely to be able to either. Think ahead! This also applies to being out and about. Many wholesale medical supplies are not available at a local store. If you are running errands and forgot your urinary catheters at home, you are out of luck!
- Have emergency phone numbers on hand if you can not keep extra stock of your supplies.
For people who use oxygen, enteral feeding pumps, insulin pumps, etc., you know you can't keep extras of these items at home. Have the 24 hour line for your doctor, medical supplier, or local hospital and call them as soon as problems arise. If you can't leave your house and must have an ambulance pick you up, it is better to call early than to call when it's down to the wire.
But maybe you think this doesn't apply to you because your equipment doesn't need a power outlet, or your products can be ordered and shipped to your door quickly. Let me present a few examples of where this kind of thinking could be to your detriment, and I'll use the recent tornadoes in Arkansas and Hurricane Sandy.
A devastatingly large tornado hit our home state of Arkansas at the end of April, 2014. People were left without power, reliable running water, and their homes were destroyed. While all tornadoes are bad, this tornado was especially bad for the central United States as the tornado's path ran across Interstate 40, the third longest interstate highway in the nation. Freight trucks, shipping trucks, cars and regular trucks were all on the road when the tornado hit. The destruction and debris caused backups on I40 for days slowing delivery of produce, products, mail, and packages running North/South and East/West.
Ambulances couldn't get in and out of the ravaged areas quickly enough because not only were they servicing the injured from the storms, they also have to help people who's oxygen tanks ran out, batteries on their enteral pumps died after the power went out, and so on. The hospitals had generators in place and patients were moved accordingly throughout central Arkansas, but that tornado taught our state a big lesson.
The Northeast also learned this lesson the hard way with Hurricane Sandy. Power outages caused hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities to scramble to keep their patients' needs met. People were barricaded in their apartment buildings with no power and no way to transport themselves elsewhere. Some people even died waiting.
These tragedies can not be avoided. Acts of God, as they are called, are beyond anyone's control. But if you purchase any kind of wholesale medical supply or durable medical equipment, then you can ready yourself to a degree.
As we said before, weather is unpredictable. These Acts of God are just part of living in this world and they will happen. Keeping yourself prepared all the time will mean you're ready when the need strikes.