Planning Ahead and Being Prepared

Every year in the Fall I stock up on a few essentials in anticipation of another New England winter. This year I am doing it a bit early in anticipation of H1N1 outbreak. It’s not that I am an alarmist or pessimist but I like to be prepared. I am asking my patients to think about what they would need at home if they couldn’t get out to the grocery store or pharmacy for a few weeks and suggesting that then plan ahead. Here’s what I think we need to tell our patients.

Have enough nonperishable groceries on hand to last at least 2-3 weeks. Make sure you have enough of the essentials, such as toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, and tooth paste, stocked up.

Check to see if you have enough acetaminophen and cough syrup on hand in proper doses for the entire family.

Evaluate your prescriptions. Is there anything that you couldn’t go without for a month? If so, get an extra month’s supply and set it aside in a safe place.

Keep a small amount of cash on hand in case you can’t get to the bank.

Got pets? Make sure you have enough food, litter, and pet meds for an extra month.

If you are putting off any repairs that if put off could be a big problem, just get them done.

Keep you gas tank full.

It’s easy to live week to week since banks, groceries, gas stations and pharmacies are readily available but what if supplies became scarce? What if you didn’t want to go out in public? If this Fall is uneventful then we will all be prepared for the next weather related event or public health threat. There’s no harm in being prepared.

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