Disaster/Pandemic preparedness

Posted

I was looking the the other Disaster/Pandemic thread that Florida1 started. She mentioned that after the hurricanes, that they had problems getting basic supplies and food stores were often closed for weeks after the storm.

That concerns me. I wonder in case of disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and pandemics if the nurses who work in the area have problems like that. I'd be worried about leaving my family if there was no heat or electric. After loosing electric in the ice storms in the Carolinas a few years back, my husband bought us a generator. I try to keep enough gas stored so that I could run that and maybe have an extra tank of gas for getting back and forth to work, if things were shut down. I never want to wait in the cold on those gas lines again; or have to risk driving around to find necessities!

What disasters have you been through? What lessons did you learn about what things would make life easier if it happens again to you? What can we learn from your experience, and how can we prepare for so we dont have to go through th esame problems you did?

Where there any sepcial tricks or issues that came up that helped you at work? Any special problems that nurses in disasters face?

I have a confession- my home first aid kit is pretty anemic right now :) DH burned his hand prety badly at work last week. I hadnt checked my kit in awhile, and was shocked to see how low I was on some stuff. I only had one roll banfage and had to make a run to WallyWorld the next day! If the stores were shut or the roads iced in or otherwise impassible that would have been an issue. Maybe not life threatening- but its a small example of how not being well prepared can be a problem.

I'd have been so embarrased to admit to hubby I couldnt take care of it, or come thru when he needed me to.

What do you do to prepare? I'm going to restock my kit, and get some more OTC stuff to keep on hand too. What else should I be thinking about?

Laura

these things need to be addressed because unlike hurricaines, tornados/earthquakes come along unexpected and w/o warning

keep your freezer full of icefilled bottles this will give you a extra day or two with eatable food..if you have an electric stove determine how you will cook if you are w/o power..remember the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning don't use charcoal or camp stoves in an enclosed area

generators are good but quite pricy for the amout of use you get out of them..if you do have one start it up once in a while. if you leave gas inthem over an extended period it might not work when you need it...

please do update your first-aid kit, keep some of your old prescription bottles with at least a week of your meds where you can grab it in a hurry

yuo need to have the meds with your name and rx number if you have to refill or if you have to prove what your meds are to authorities

keep an extra pair of glasses or contact lens or make a copy of your prescription and keep in glove compartment

keep cell phones charged and check in with loved ones and have a place to meet if you cannot return to your home

take pictures of your home and furnishings and put them on a disc..invest in a bank safety deposit box and keep your will, poa, insurance papers,

check with your insurance agent to determine what and what is not covered..do not let them talk you into getting a policy that may not pay off they often encourage you to getting a larger policy but the company will not pay for replacement, they deduct for depreciation etc . if you decide later that you need more coverage you can do so but do so when you have throught it over and decided what you need..a quick decision is too often in their favor

hope no one needs to do any of these things

indigo girl

Specializes in Too many to list.

these things need to be addressed because unlike hurricaines, tornados/earthquakes come along unexpected and w/o warning

keep your freezer full of icefilled bottles this will give you a extra day or two with eatable food..if you have an electric stove determine how you will cook if you are w/o power..remember the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning don't use charcoal or camp stoves in an enclosed area

generators are good but quite pricy for the amout of use you get out of them..if you do have one start it up once in a while. if you leave gas inthem over an extended period it might not work when you need it...

please do update your first-aid kit, keep some of your old prescription bottles with at least a week of your meds where you can grab it in a hurry

yuo need to have the meds with your name and rx number if you have to refill or if you have to prove what your meds are to authorities

keep an extra pair of glasses or contact lens or make a copy of your prescription and keep in glove compartment

keep cell phones charged and check in with loved ones and have a place to meet if you cannot return to your home

take pictures of your home and furnishings and put them on a disc..invest in a bank safety deposit box and keep your will, poa, insurance papers,

check with your insurance agent to determine what and what is not covered..do not let them talk you into getting a policy that may not pay off they often encourage you to getting a larger policy but the company will not pay for replacement, they deduct for depreciation etc . if you decide later that you need more coverage you can do so but do so when you have throught it over and decided what you need..a quick decision is too often in their favor

hope no one needs to do any of these things

I think that you are much more prepared than I am, Dale.

We do however, have propane tanks and extras for cooking outside as well as a gas stove inside. We have a kerosene heater for emergency use and a small portable propane camping stove. Emergency batteries, Aladdin lamps (we get nor'easters here), candles, a crank/battery radio, extra blankets.

That freezer full of ice bottles? Plastic? Never thought of that one. Wish that I had the room.

12 weeks worth of food is our minimum hoard of canned and dried goods.

Medical supplies include gloves, masks (N95), immodium, tylenol, compazine, cough meds, antihistamines, and even alternative/herbal teas and specific things that I think will help if needed.

Extra gas for the cars. Bikes as an alternative form of transport.

There is more but I can't think of it now.

Lacie, BSN, RN

Specializes in jack of all trades.

We keep an "Emergency Case" that contains at least 2 weeks of can goods, Palminate (nonrefrigerated milk), batteries, portable propane lamp/outdoor grill with 6 extra small tanks, flashlights, (4) 5 gal containers of water(the kind for dispensors), 2 Portable cell phone charger (can get for about $20.00 at Walgreens/CVS), I also keep a converter that can be used for small electric use when plugged into the lighter of my truck, battery operated portable TV/radio with an antenna extension, EMT kit (has small O2 tank, etc), extra meds, extra pet food, small battery operated fan (heat can be excrutiating when you have to sleep in day if on nights), 2 large ice chest, 3 blue tarps, roll of twine, scissors, duct tape, clothes line (tieing down if needed), 2 changes of extra clothes for each family member (keep in the large Ziplock baggies,use vacuum cleaner hose to extract the air), 10 empty bags for sandbagging, bag of self lightening charchoal, large candles. I keep these all in sealed huge rubbermaid containers in the corner of my garage. If we are lucky to know of severe weather coming then I usually hit WinnDixie to buy dry ice and keep it in ice chest as if electric goes out for any length of time then I can put it in the bottom of my fridge to keep things from going to waste for at least a few days. Maybe I'm over prepared but after enduring 4 hurricanes back to back and the recent tornado (this week) in our area (20 deaths) I have learned my lesson. Plus I live on beachside of East-Central Florida and things get sold out so fast and I hate having to hit the stores in the madness. I have had to use the emt kit on a neighbor who had an MI during the mess so it was nice to have that small O2 container handy until we could get help to arrive. Lol this all takes up a good sized corner of the garage that's for sure!!

Wow, good lists!

Here's a couple of ideas that might not have been mentioned-

Stash some cash in case the ATM's dont work! That caught me out one time.

Fluids for hydration. Wish I had IV's at home, but havent found a doc willing to write prescriptions so I could. So i make sure I have gatorade type stuff to mix half strength if its needed for oral rehydration.

I'm into alt.medicine as adjuncts, so I have some specific vitamins and supplements I have researched that may be helpful- especially if there's no vaccine for a pandemic, at least its something to try rather than being totally helpless. Some masks and gloves; and lots of hand sanitizer here too!

I have some of those spacebags they sell online that I got a the local store. They are good for putting up clothes, I like them a lot, and they last a long time. I keep an extra change in the boat for each of us when we go fishing, and have some extra clothes in a bag in my car in case of need in one of the "travel size" space bags. Come in handy more than once at work in the ER! A little blood - heck, you can get scrubs from the OR- but get puked on and a change of underwear and a shower is a good thing! LOL So are the snacks and cash and extra meds I keep in it- man, Ive used them dozens of times since i got in the habit. I hate being caught short on anything.

LOTS of good ideas up there, a few I'll add to my shopping list. I appreciate that!

the plastic bags of ice are for taking up room in freezer, if you have a full freezer and the power goes out and you expect it might be out for a while stuff newspaper over food and keep the door shut..if you ae gone from the house during evmergency check your ice keeper and see if the ice has melted and refrozen...ice will be a solid at bottom...pour out ice cubes which may have reaccumlated in basket if there is solid ice at bottom the food in the freezer may have thawed and may be dangerous to eat d/t bacteria

there are many ideas here that i have not thought about..thanks for the hints

indigo girl

Specializes in Too many to list.

These are delicious! http://www.rightfoods.com/store.php?PHPSESSID=8254529a0b5075d5d99c024bf76783e9

I have a gas stove and a charcoal BBQ outside. Since 50 pound bags of pinto beans and rice are a major part of our plan this thread has me thinking of getting another camp stove. We no longer have one.

Those look simple enough for kids to prepare. That might be important in an emergency. I would want things to be simple for them, and hopefully they would like this sort of food. Looks really good to me.

I love pinto beans but have not seen any place locally that offers that quantity. If you need a good rice, bean, and cheese casserole recipe, let me know. It's yummy.

We found whole powdered eggs from Honeyville, online. For the vegetarians, you can get unflavored vegetable protein chunks (eek!) from there. Vegetarians have to eat, too.

You can even get canned butter and cheese online. Or you could get ghee, clarified butter, in glass jars on the shelf where your grocery has ethnic food.

My best and considered purchases are my tins of cookies that the stores were trying to get rid of after Xmas. Comfort food. Speaking of comfort,

there is a biscuit type mix that already contains eggs, has no transfats, just have to add water. This is easy. I can do this... Who makes this? Kurtz or something like that, I think. I don't want to work too hard for comfort during an emergency. Hot chocolate mixes. I also have jars and bags of different kinds of nuts, very nutritious. Teas, lots of bottles of fruit juices especially cranberry mixes (hopefully helpful as an antiviral). Stackable spring water in my basement since we have no well. Wasn't water an issue in New Orleans and Florida? It always is during an emergency. We have to have it. Vitamins, absolutely if we have to eat canned goods for awhile. Oatmeal, flour, sugar, olive oil, peanut butter, I guess I have a grocery store in my basement. Let's not forget pet food, and pet supplies. Toilet paper, get more than you need. Plastic bags.

What else?

You might find this book of interest insofar as austere or disaster medicine is concerned.

Survival and Austere Medicine: An Introduction

www.cafepress.com/austeremed

Ayrman

indigo girl

Specializes in Too many to list.

Thank you, FlaMedic for the essay, the wonderful graphs, and for making these mitigation strategies by the CDC/gov't more comprehensible:

http://afludiary.blogspot.com/2007/02/flattening-pandemic-curve-414-goal-as.html

http://afludiary.blogspot.com/2007/02/flattening-pandemic-curve-414-goal-as.html[/url]"]http://afludiary.blogspot.com/2007/02/flattening-pandemic-curve-414-goal-as.html[/url]

Ideally, we’d have a well-matched vaccine to distribute prior to any outbreak, but that is unlikely to happen. In fact, any significant quantities of vaccines would be unavailable during the first 6 months of a pandemic. Our second line of defense, antiviral medications, are also in short supply. All that are left are NPI’s: Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions.

Influenza...left unchecked, would spread rapidly through any community. The greater the number of ill individuals at any given time, the greater the burden that will be placed on medical services, and the greater the strain that will be placed on society in general. Spreading out the infections over time, even if the total number of people infected isn’t appreciably lower, might prove advantageous.

ayrman- excellent book you shared. thank you.

nice addition indigo girl.

lots of good preparedness ideas shared here so far.

One thing concerns me-that a lot of people even perhaps some onthis board-a re waiting until the pandmeic starts to prepare. To me, thats scary. Its likely that the last minute rush is going to make good preparation and stocking up very difficult-kinda like the "bread milk and eggs" runs that everyone does when a winter storm is in the offing- doesnt take long for the shelves to get bare. Multiply that by a thousand fold, and the chance of getting what you want and how much of what you want is prety slim. Its a big gamble.

any inpu ton that? can anyone explain to me why they think waiting to prepare is a good idea? I am really interested- not to argue, but better understand. Maybe theres soemthing to that concept I need to learn, cause I just dont get it.

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