It’s everyday news. Disasters are reported in various areas of the world more often than desired. Unpredictable catastrophic events occupy a terrific part of the everyday world news with unprecedented frequency. Predictable or not, disasters change and affect human lives in unimaginable ways, irrespective of cultural, ethnic or religious beliefs. The effects of a disaster is felt at all levels of a society, however, the most affected are the sick, the elderly, the handicapped and the kids. How can a society prepare to decrease the negative effect of a catastrophic event on its members, particularly the ones that are vulnerable? Now, more than ever, with countries and nations threatening each other with nuclear weapons, biological warfare, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, healthcare providers and caregivers should prepare for the challenges of care giving pre and post a catastrophic event. Climate changes are creating an environment of increased climatological events which aren’t far from calamitous disasters. More than ever, whether character induced or man induced, the likelihood of a tragedy or disaster is more of a reality for every human being on earth. No soil is spared; the entire planet is in danger.
From earthquakes to tsunamis, from hurricanes to radioactive spills, from tornadoes to massive flooding; how will care practitioners or providers continue to look after their sick and disabled prior to, during and after a disaster or catastrophe? In a crisis situation, the subject of survival is compounded by the requirement to continue to satisfy the needs of those that are sick, disabled and aging before the event.
The solution lies in preparedness.
1. Step one is to develop consciousness. Creating awareness of the potential for a tragedy based on location, climate, local infrastructure and history of character’s behaviour and creating a program which will ensure the continuation of care to individuals that are sick, disabled and aging is paramount. The responsibility for making this strategy falls on the health care or care provider and other service systems, if available. This strategy should be created depending on the possibilities and variety of disaster which may occur, dependent on location, climate and the region’s history of catastrophic occurrences. A person residing in Colorado doesn’t have to prepare for a tsunami or a hurricane, but an earthquake may affect any area on Earth. Coastal areas are generally affected by hurricanes and tsunamis. People living in areas near nuclear plants should prepare for the possibility of radiation or chemical spills, and needless to say, all of us must be conscious of the potential for a human-induced biological or nuclear catastrophe. Metropolitan regions are known targets for terrorism and other types of disasters. Having realized that the chance of the occurrence of a disaster is extremely real, the preparation program is well on its way.
2. Once the risks are recognized, the next step is to recognize those under your care who will require continual, uninterrupted care, even under disaster or catastrophic conditions and those at greater risks, including healthy kids, and also make provisions to meet their requirements. Acquaint and clearly identify everybody with their unique needs. By way of example, a premature infant requiring tube feeding, an oxygen-dependent person requiring continued oxygen treatment, a disoriented or demented individual who requires continued oversight. There should be an account for each and every individual, including children with each individual’s specific needs. This information should be in writing and easily accessible in the event of an emergency. Take regular inventory of all materials needed or used regularly and keep inventory at the maximum level possible. Never let yourself be from supplies at any moment. Medications and life-sustaining provide take priority in the stock list. Medications should be assessed regularly and refills obtained before medicine runs out. Oxygen tanks and other respiratory supplies have to be assessed routinely. Extra oxygen tank ought to be accessible, such as portable oxygen tanks. For those patients requiring continued oxygen treatment, bear in mind that one movable oxygen tank lasts only 24 hours if used continuously. Food, water, and other life-sustaining supplies are also a significant part of the inventory. A survival plan should provide food, water, and other vital elements for at least one week for each individual.
3. Educate and create awareness in those that are capable and are parts of the group, family nucleus and or service system concerning the truth of a potential disaster or catastrophe. Roles should be designated, and duties assigned. Example, 1 person is accountable for maintaining medication’s stock; another man or woman is responsible to keep the rest of the household or group informed of news, the emergency and weather reports, and an individual to handle water and food supplies. Another individual will maintain the disoriented family members safe and serene or look after the younger children. Don’t forget to assign responsibilities based on age, maturity, psychological status, and overall health. Make participants accountable for their assignments. Conduct frequent meetings and talk about any issues or possible issues that could jeopardize the life or health of anyone, particularly those at greater risk. Regular drills should also be performed regularly including testing the communication system for use among members during a crisis situation. An escape along with a survival program after the disaster ought to be established and analyzed regularly also. A leader should be designated using a survivor hierarchy in place in the event of death or injury.
What should be included in a basic survival kit?
1. A list of group elements, including names, age, any physical limitations and medical condition and a current photo of each person
2. Medicines and supplies used frequently by the ill or handicapped person or persons.
3. Water, 1 gallon per day per individual for seven days
4. Non-perishable dry food, preferable things with high content of calories
5. Survival gear
• Battery operated lamps or lanterns
• Extra batteries
• Can opener
• A pad and pencil or pen
• Mobile phone
• Paper towel
• Sanitary paper
• First-aid kit containing bandages, over the counter analgesics and wound cleaning supplies
All these things should be inventoried regularly, including checking for expiry dates. Adjust the amount of stock to reflect the demands of a growing group. Check for the performance of equipment.