INDIANAPOLIS— As the severe weather season arrives in central Indiana a lot of time is being spent talking about how to be prepared for when severe weather strikes.
But for families with children that have special needs, being prepared can create an added challenge.
Experts agree having a kit with items like a cell phone charger, blankets, bottled water, first aid supplies are always a good idea. But doctors with IU Health say for families with special needs children, items like medications or any needed medical devices should also be included.
“Medications are going to be a big-ticket item. So, families you can try to get extra medications from your doctor or from the pharmacy but sometimes that’s really not possible. What I recommend is having a list and your disaster kit, either handwritten list or some pictures of what medication they are on so that if you need to find those moving forward you can get them. But also, being organized and having all of your medications in one spot maybe in a container or a bag that’s easier to grab and go at all times in case of any emergency,” Dr Kara Kowalczyk said.
For those who do need medical equipment like ventilators or feeding pumps, Kowalczyk says having a plan in case of a power outage is also key.
“So, one thing you can do is let your electric company know ahead of time that you are a home that really needs that electricity restored quickly and then looking into other options like backup generators. You can talk to your doctor if there’s any way to get these things covered by insurance. Sometimes there are, sometimes there aren’t. But really think about those plans ahead of time of what you’re going to do in case of a power outage,” she said.
If you don’t have a plan for severe weather experts say now is the time to build one. Sites like healthychildren.org and EMSC Innovation and Improvement Center lay out step by step guides for those who need help.