Don’t Be A Zombie! – Be Prepared!

Emergency preparedness brings up thoughts of Katrina, Mt. St. Helen, big nasty windstorms and summertime fires of epic proportions. If we don’t have family or friends involved and we see these events on TV (while counting our blessings) we tend to be lax about keeping ourselves prepared for emergencies. There are simple ways to ease into preparedness for everyday life as well as big emergencies. If you can’t fo it for you, do it for your loved ones (or the EMT’s!)

Some questions to ask yourself:
Do you have a medical regimen? Do you have any medication that must not be stopped suddenly? Do you carry with you the name of who should be notified in case of emergency? Do you have a list of all your medications and the dosage? Will you need back up power for medical equipment or refrigeration for medication? Do you have a way to let your health condition known right away if you are unable to speak?

And here’s a big one – Think you telephone is enough? Batteries die. Are you prepared with backup power in case of an outage?

Those of us that eschew medic alert necklaces or bracelets still need to take responsibility for ourselves. Bev, an Independent Living Advocate with the Post Falls DAC NW office came up with the idea of “dog tags”. They can be like the ones our military wears, black or silver, or even brightly colored. Wear your stars and stripes! They can be round or oblong, plain or fancy. We found a website that sells one for $7.95. Try www.dogtagsamerica.com.

Dog tags will not identify you as having a disability if that’s important to you. They can be worn discreetly under your clothes (as can medic alert necklaces) or out and proud! More than one can be worn at a time and the ones on this website have “silencers” so they don’t jangle. They can also be tucked into a pocket though that increases the possibility of them getting lost.

We have to take care of ourselves. Show the world that having a disability does not mean we are helpless, dependent, useless or in any way abnormal. We own our lives and we are proud!

Small steps can lead to big rewards. If dog tags appeal to you and can be a great part of your life, go for it. If the traditional medic alert works for you, go for that. The point is to prepare yourselves for the event that we all hope never comes.

And as an added bonus it can be indicated on the tag that you have a service animal. Matching tags anyone??? Please do us all a favor, tho, and do not identify a beloved pet as a service animal. More on that in another edition!