Emergency (medical) preparedness

February 22nd, 2018

Let this week’s thunderstorms serve as a reminder: Typically tumultuous springtime weather will soon be upon us. Now is a good time to update your emergency preparedness plan, especially if you or a family member have medical needs that could become acute in a severe weather event.

“In homes where there is medical equipment powered by electricity, or medications that require refrigeration, it’s important to think about what you’re going to do in the event of a power outage,” said J.J. Jones, manager of Emergency Management at JPS. “If your well-being depends on prescription medications, you don’t want to be down to your last dose.”

There are an average of 12 tornadoes every year in North Texas, and 68 flash flooding events, according to KnoWhat2Do, a preparedness collaborative of North Central Texas regional governments.

For people with medical issues (“functional needs” in emergency management lingo), KnoWhat2Do recommends:

  • Keeping 7-14 days of medications on hand, and having a list of medications with dosages and a medication schedule. If the medication is stored in the refrigerator, keep the list there, too.
  • Keeping support items in a designated place so they can be found quickly.
  • Including caretakers in the planning process.
  • Providing the power company with a list of all power-dependent life-support equipment and planning for an alternate power source in advance.
  • Creating an emergency food supply for those with special dietary needs.

People who anticipate needing special assistance in a disaster can register with the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP), an emergency preparedness database available to first responders. https://apps.fortworthtexas.gov/snap/

There’s a wealth of useful information available on the internet in at sites such as





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