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May is National Emergency Preparedness Month – Get Prepared with Epilepsy!

May is National Emergency Preparedness Month – Get Prepared with Epilepsy!

May is National Emergency Preparedness Month and it is important for everyone to Know the Risks, to Make a Plan and to Get a Kit.

Getting prepared for emergencies (such as power outages, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, etc.) is important for everyone to do, including people with epilepsy. If you have epilepsy, check out some of our tips below on how to get prepared for emergency situations:

Know The Risks:

  • We all live with risks in our daily lives and having epilepsy may increase that risk for some people
  • To reduce your risk and ensure safety, you can try things like:
    • Being aware of safety guidelines for people with epilepsy and following them to ensure the safety of yourself and others
    • Wearing a medical identification bracelet so that the people around you will be aware that you have epilepsy should you have a seizure
    • Teaching people around you about seizure first aid and safety in the event that you have a seizure and need assistance
    • Creating a card that explains that you have epilepsy, what to do if you have a seizure and contains other pertinent information, such as your emergency contacts, your medication list, etc. and keeping it with you at all times, especially during an emergency
    • Trying to avoid known triggers for your seizures, including flashing lights (if you have photosensitive epilepsy), alcohol and drugs, and other triggers

Make a Plan:

  • Everyone should have a home emergency plan that contains the following information:
    • A plan detailing the safe exits from your house and an escape route
    • Information on meeting places where you and your family should arrange to reunite during an emergency
    • Ways to contact family members should you get separated
    • The location of essential items in the house, such as your emergency kit, the fire extinguisher, the water valve, the electrical panel, the gas valve and the floor drain
  • If you have epilepsy, your home emergency plan should also include the following information:
    • Emergency contacts for your support network of family, friends, co-workers and neighbors who know you have epilepsy and understand your needs
    • A list of your medications and other treatments for your epilepsy
    • The contact information of your health care providers
    • Your health insurance information
    • A list of steps of what to do should you have a seizure

Get a Kit:

  • Everyone should create an emergency kit that can enable them to self-sufficient for at least 72 hours (3 days) and keep in mind that you may be without electricity or running water during this time
  • Your emergency kit should contain the following:
    • At least 2 liters of water per person per day for drinking
    • An additional 2 liters of water per person per day for cooking, cleaning and bathing
    • Food that does not spoil, such as canned goods, energy bars, etc. along with a manual can opener and utensils
    • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries
    • Candles and a lighter/matches
    • A sleeping bag or blanket for each person
    • A change of clothes and footwear for each person
    • Toiletries, including hand sanitizer
    • Garbage bags
    • Water purifying tablets
    • Basic tools, including a whistle and duct tape
  • If you have epilepsy, your emergency kit should also contain the following:
    • A 3-day supply of your medication in a waterproof container
    • A list of steps of what to do should you have a seizure

For more information on emergency preparedness, check out the Get Prepared website here.

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