You have a 4 year old patient who continues to ring his call light, it finally dawns on you that the reason you’ve been feeling so light headed is because you forgot to take your break and eat lunch. You have been on top of all your meds so far tonight, you have made sure all your 4 patients have gotten their dinner tray. Everyone has eaten, well except for one person you. Sigh.
You go to the nurses station to finish up all your charting, then hopefully sneak in a bite of a granola bar you have hidden in your scrub pocket. As you unwrap the granola, your swivel chair starts shaking. You turn to make sure it’s not Jane the new nurse messing with you. Then you realize everything starts shaking and moving. Some of the nurses are ducking underneath the desk, you end up running to room 2. That’s where little 4 year old David, your patient, is sleeping, you need to make sure he’s ok. As you get your bearings, it feels like the entire floor is rolling in waves underneath your crocs. You start running to the room, desperate to reach him before he gets injured (as all your other patients have their parents at the bedside). Everything starts falling apart, chairs start rolling, you can hear the patients start crying, things start falling apart. And all you can do is pray that no one get’s injured.
Does this sound familiar? Though this specific scenario described is not actual, this has and can happen. A clip is included of one of our most unfortunate catastrophe’s hurricane Katrina to allow us to understand what situations could occur within a healthcare environment.
Any natural disaster can hit, if where you live is more prone to tornado, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcano, anything that can endanger the life of your family and yourself. The reason I bring up emergency preparedness is because it affects each of us, no matter where we live or vacation at.
Ideally, if disaster strikes, I would like to be at home with my family. I would think that’s true for everyone. Healthcare, we are a different story are we not? If disaster strikes, we can’t ask the masses to stay at home and not come to the nearest hospital or medical area. We are the ones’ that the injured go to, and if you are “lucky” enough to be at your place of work during a disaster strike. You may be stuck there, you could be stuck at your place of work for days. You may not be able to get out and others who could relieve you may not be able to get to work.
If an earthquake (disaster) hit right now, and you are at work, how confident would you feel of your family’s/pets’ safety. That is if you are unable to see or hear from them for 72 hours? That to me would be my most pressing matter. When disaster strikes, your focus is on your safety and your families safety. Which brings me to this. I have decided that even thought my family may not be completely prepared, I should start the first step.
Last year for Christmas I bought my immediate family a backpack first-aid kit. I looked all over for an emergency kit. I wanted a kit that I could carry, if I had to run and get the heck out of dodge. So of-course I sure as heck would want something that would actually be useful.
I then found a kit that I felt would be very useful to my family. I found the kit to be the easy on the wallet and it contained numerous essentials that I didn’t even think of. I ordered it off of Amazon (the link is below to the same one -backpack is a different color-that I ordered), what I like about this kit is first off I didn’t have to put it together (lazy I know). Second, the food and water had a 5 year shelf life. So the question here is why on earth would I get a kit that would expire? Because I rather have my family prepared and change out the kit expired contents every so often then with nothing.
What I found helpful is I am putting together a tub (that also contains the backpack) together that is dedicated to emergencies for my family. I need to have the emergency supplies stored at an easy access area. So we decided that the emergency tub will be stored in the shed out back (I chose the shed over the house because if I had to dig through rubble, I would rather dig through a destroyed small shed then a two story collapsed house). It was decided that as a habit, every daylight savings time day the emergency kit and tub will be looked through an updated (for expired items). I thought it may be easier to remember that way, but honestly you could do it however works for your family.
Being prepared honestly is not enough, sure you may know what to do and you may even have a kit ready. But let’s be honest, does your family feel the same way? Do your teenage children know how to survive on their own, what about your dogs who are stuck in crates or even the garage while your at work. Do you have someone who can help your pets if you can’t get home- a neighbor, a friend? Would everyone be safe and know what to do?
I hope that by asking you these questions it can start getting you to think about how to better prepare yourself and your family if a natural disaster strikes. If you are stuck at the hospital/work or someplace else taking care of others. Who will take care of your family? I will post a part 2 on what I’m doing to help my family get better prepared. If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to follow this blog.
How ready will everyone be? What about you? Are you prepared?