As a mom I fall on the anxious side of the worrying spectrum. I’ve spent more than a few nights awake, worrying about natural disasters. Earthquakes, wildfires and tsunamis are all fair game in So Cal, but I don’t discriminate and worry about tornados, hurricanes, and massive meteors too.
Images of Super Storm Sandy’s destruction and the stories we heard from affected CARD clients and staff are a poignant reminder that worrying alone doesn’t go very far in an actual emergency.
So this week I’m turning my worries into action.
I’ve added a family emergency plan and disaster supply kit to my To Do List. Every family has unique circumstances that must be considered in emergency planning. In my family it means stockpiling medication and formula for my son’s medical needs. Having a child with ASD will also mean some additional and specific planning.
You can make a family emergency plan using the fill-in-the-blank & print form at FEMA’s website (http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Family_Emegency_Plan.pdf). Many counties and large cities also have emergency planning information specific to your local geography and infrastructure.
FEMA has detailed information for creating and properly storing a disaster supply kit (www.ready.gov/build-a-kit). When stocking your kit consider any specific items that your child will need – medications, favorite foods, specific comfort items and/or entertainment, and anything your child uses regularly that may be difficult to access in an emergency or in the days and weeks after a disaster. In addition to supplies, the disaster kit needs to include some paperwork – a home inventory, financial and insurance information and spare cash. (After reading the list I think we’re going to need a plastic tub the size of a small car!) One thing you do not need to include is your child’s ABA logbook! With Skills® (www.skillsforautism.com), your child’s assessment, program and progress are all stored electronically and available where ever you go!
Dr. Ari Brown, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and co-author of Baby 411 & Toddler 411, recommends making and carrying a Medical Passport for your children. The passport should include an immunization record, growth chart, list of medical issues, list of surgeries, list of food, medication and/or environmental allergies, as well as the name and dosage of any daily and/or emergency medications (e.g. epi-pen). In my children’s passports I also included our insurance information and a list of their doctors with phone numbers. I carry their passports with me at all times. They are handy for babysitting, camp, and travel too.
(To be continued…)