Having a disability of any type can be challenging even when life follows its normal routine. However, in a survival situation things can get really tricky.
Regardless of your situation, you need to take some extra steps in your preparedness plan. I am going to give you some tremendously useful tips that are going to help you more than you know.
Emergencies usually strike quickly and force you to make a snap decision about whether to stay home or bug out. However, you need to have a plan for both. Just like anybody else, you need to have plenty of food and water in case you decide to stay. Moreover, you need to have a place to go if you decide to leave.
In theory it doesn’t sound very difficult, and it is not. However, it all depends on your strengths and limitations, so make plans accordingly.
1. Build a Personal Support Network
Having people who you can trust around you is highly important, whether you can or cannot evacuate on your own. The personal support network should consist of people who know you and your needs as well as your strengths. At least three of them should also live close enough to you, preferably within walking distance.
These people will call to check on you and if they cannot reach you by phone, make arrangements for them to come visit you in person. They can be neighbors, family members or friends.
You can even make a schedule. Ask them to call you everyday at the same hour. If you do not respond, they are going to know that something has happened and that they need to come to your place and check on you.
2. Determine What Disasters are Most Likely to Happen in Your Area
Just like any other prepper, you need to be aware of your surroundings and determine what disasters you need to prepare for. Know your area and what emergencies are most likely to occur. You may also have other concerns such as financial crashes or terrorist attacks that you want to include in your plan.
3. Make a List of Special Needs
After you have a main idea about what you’re prepping for, make a list with everything that you need to survive. Will you need adaptive equipment? Medication? Will your caregiver, if you have one, be able to get to you? Do you have any pets that need to be taken care of? Ask yourself every possible question and make sure that you sort everything out.
4. Learn About Community Assistance Programs
Depending on the type of emergency you’re prepping for, most communities have assistance programs for people with disabilities. From evacuation shelters to transportation services, you may be able to receive the help you need to get out of your house and to safety.
On the other hand, if you are planning more on a SHTF-type of situation such as a terrorist attack or an economic crash, your plans will need to be different; at that point, community services will likely break down and you won’t be able to depend on them. That’s where your personal support network will come in handy.
5. Have an Heir and a Spare
If your conditions requires special equipment such as a cane, wheelchair, crutches, hearing aids, glasses or prosthetic devices, make sure that you have a backup and an extra. If something were to happen to those devices, what would you do? You surely know where you can purchase what you need so make sure you have an extra for everything.
6. Try to Store Backup Medication
This is probably one of the most complicated things to do as prescriptions can be picked up at least a few days early. Try to store back a bit of your medication each month so that you will have extra for emergency cases.
You can even tell your doctor that you are planning to go on a holiday and that you need extra medication for that period. However, make sure to store it well so that nobody has access to it. Medication can be detrimental if taken by persons who do not need it.
Another good idea is to find natural alternatives to your medication, if possible. After all, anything is better than nothing in a survival situation.
7. Don’t Talk About Your Stockpile
Just because people know that you have a disability, you will be an easier target for those who didn’t bother to prepare. Telling people that you have enough food and supplies to get through an emergency situation is a bad idea. When SHTF, they will remember that conversation you had while enjoying a cup of tea and even the nicest people won’t be so nice anymore, if their families are starving.
8. Learn Some Skills
The more you know the better it is for you. In a post-SHTF situation, you may not be as physically capable as others. However, if you have skills that other people need you will have a valuable contribution in the community. Whether it’s fixing cars, making fuel from veggie oil, canning, gardening or healing, learn as many skills as you can. People will be willing to trade skills so you can make up for any physical tasks that you may be incapable of.
9. Have a Bug Out Bag Packed
Make sure that you have a bag packed that includes everything that you will need for at least 24 hours. This includes your meds along with clothes, water, a med kit and everything else that a standard bug out bag has.
10. Make Your Home Easy to Move Around In
If your house is attacked and you need to go to shelter as soon as possible, it is tremendously important to be able to move around as fast and easy as you can. Do not let any objects on the floor and make sure that there is enough space to move around. Moreover, keep your inside doors wide open so that you have a free pathway at all times.
11. Bring a Copy of Your Medical History
Make sure that you have a few copies of your medical history with you at all times. You never know when you will need to see another doctor. Moreover, you may be in a tough situation in which you won’t be able to speak for yourself, so having a paper with all your medical situation will definitely help you.
12. Prepping with a Service Animal
If you have a service animal, then you will also need to prepare for their well-being. It is just as prepping for a pet, except your special pet is more important for your own safety and survival. You need to be sure you have food, water and medicines stocked up for your service animal.
Having a disability doesn’t make you helpless but it does mean that you are going to have to make some extra provisions for your own safety. You can survive in any situation; you only have to do what you already do everyday: work with your strengths and compensate for your own needs.
Do you know any other prepping tips for people with disabilities? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.