During this time of year and year end round it is very beneficial to us with COPD to have specific procedures for emergencies. Some suggestions are outlined below.
If you can think of any more please add them to the list.
1. Notify local fire station and power company if you are on oxygen.
This will serve two purposes. It will allow the fire station to insure they stock enough oxygen cylinders for emergencies and also that you have oxygen in your home incase of fire. The power companies will sometimes give a discount for disabilities and in addition they will notify you in most cases of planned power outages and give you a priority for repairs.
2. Put an emergency kit together to keep in a central location incase of storms or power outages. This should include a battery powered flashlight, radio and cell phone if desired. It should also include an extra oxygen cylinder, a first aid kit and extra equipment for nebulizing or any other medical necessities as required.
This should also include bottled water, canned food, and a non-electric can opener. Make sure you rotate supplies every month so you will always have fresh in an emergency.
3. Keep periodic checks on power lines coming into your home from the pole source. Most power companies will trim them when needed. If you have a limb that is to close to a powerline it could cause a needless outage if a storm should move through.
4. In winter you should keep a bag of kitty litter or ice remover close to the door in case of icing and clearing steps as you go down rather than storing it outside and having to get it and spread upward.
5. If possible a good emergency procedure is to install a remote starter for your car- this way the minimum amount of time has to be spent in cold weather while getting ready to go somewhere.
6. Have someone hired or designated to clean your drive way in winter. This can solve the problem of having to find someone or possibly trying to do it yourself if you have to go in a hurry.
7. If feasible purchase a small generator with an electric start to hook into your house current to use if power outage is experienced. This one is only recommended if you are mechanically inclined or have arrangements for someone to maintain it. They can be unreliable in many cases.
8. Notify your ambulance service where you keep all your list of meds and personal records. This will be of great assistance if you live alone or you are unconscious when they arrive. A pretty much standard place is in the refrigerator or on the door.
9. Make sure your exterior light works in case an ambulance is called at night. Also a good idea to have your house number displayed clearly close to the street with a light on it to insure there is no delay in finding it if necessary.
10. Keep driveway clearance to doors clear in case of emergency ambulance call so that there is no delay in the paramedics getting you to the ambulance.
I hope these will be of some help and please feel free to add anything to the list that you already use or you can think of - just join us at COPD Support
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