Special needs is sort of a catch-all phrase. It doesn’t mean exactly the same thing from one individual to the next. That means we won’t prep exactly the same way. We all have to do what’s best for our individual family.
Regardless of your loved one’s diagnosis, here are ten things to consider when prepping:
Make an Accurate Inventory of Needs
What does your loved one need each day? Take time to make an accurate inventory of these needs. On a piece of paper or your computer, list:
- Daily meds (including dosage)
- Rescue meds
- Self-Care needs (diapers, wipes, gloves, etc.)
- Durable medical equipment (wheelchair, stander, walker, etc.)
- Other medical supplies (feeding tube supplies, bags, catheters, etc.)
- Special food (formulas, etc.)
- Anything else your loved one needs on a regular basis
Now that you have a list, you can use this information to help you prep. Look over your list. What are essentials to life, and what are niceties instead of necessities? Prioritize your list in order of most essential to least essential. That way you can start with the essentials.
Talk to Your Loved One
As you start prepping, be sure to talk to you loved one. I operate under the belief that my son understands a lot more than I realize. When I talk to the other kids about what we’re doing and why, Owen is there too.
I explain it in as age-appropriate terms as I can, and reassure them all. We talk about our fire escape plans, our family meeting place, why we’re stockpiling certain things, and everything else we can think of.
I explain to Owen that one of the reasons his bedroom is on the ground floor is so that he won’t have to try and jump through a window. It’s not something he could physically do. I let him know that we’ve thought about his needs, and will always do our very best to meet them.
Include your loved one in conversations and planning so they have an idea of what you’re thinking and can ask questions if possible.
Prepare for the Most Likely Event First
I live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by miles of timber in every direction. Wildfire is the most likely event I should prep for. The odds of having a fire come through my land are greater than other natural disasters.
I know that in a wildfire event, we’d have to bug out. It’d be much easier to stay put with all of Owen’s equipment, but it wouldn’t be safe to do so. So we make sure we’re prepared before wildfire season rolls around.
Owen’s wheelchair stays on our family’s minibus when we’re not using it inside. So does a dose of each of his emergency medications. Each year, I repack a plastic tote with clothes for everyone. I also include a couple days’ worth of meds for Owen, diapers, wipes, and disposable gloves.
There’s also some bottled water and storable food. It’s everything we’d need to survive somewhere else for …
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