Saturday, April 28, 2018

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (May 2018)

Health Emergency Preparedness  . . . 
                                 Are we ready for this?

This blog has been mostly directed at temporal emergency preparedness, food and water storage, emergency supplies for cooking, shelter, heating, lighting, etc. and spiritual preparedness. After the experience we have had the last 3 months I feel I need to address health emergency preparedness. We never know when a family member, or ourselves, will need care, possibly100 percent care, for an extended amount of time. It can happen at any time, immediately.  Let me share what has been going on with us . . .

About 3 months ago my husband's cousin, 75 years old, received some very serious injures. He lives in a senior living complex with various levels of care, his being more independent. He fell and was unconscious for awhile, when he came to he could not get up or reach the emergency cord. When the staff came in around 7:00 a.m. to check on their residences he was in agonizing pain. He was immediately transports by Peri-medics to the hospital and later transported to another hospital who had the critical care unit he needed. He was there for about 3-4 weeks after having surgery and treatment, then transferred to a rehab/skilled nursing facility for another 4 weeks. Then he went back to his senior living complex requiring a full time caregiver. The senior living facility he is living in does not offer full time caregivers so we had to hire an independent company. The cost, $17 and hour, over $12,000 a month. Ouch! Even though he has full time caregivers, we are still very much involved with his care and needs. 

During this time we learned he did not have the important documents that should have been in place. He did not have a Healthcare Advanced Directive, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Do Not Resuscitate, and a Will/Trust. Thank goodness he has Long Term Care Insurance to cover his full time care, but it has a 60 day deductible/elimination period. Which means he has to pay for the first 60 days of full time care. Yes, he has Medicare with Supplemental insurance, but it does not cover Long Term Care with a full time caregiver unless you spend down your money to a certain amount to go on Medical Long Term Care and go into a nursing home facility, not always the best care. We have tried for several years to have him put these into place, but he never felt the need. Now he has the need! Fortunately, we were able to put all these into place, but it was stressful and a lot of work. What if he was unconscious or not mentally able to have done this? It would be a very difficult situation right now!

We all need to plan for this time of emergency in our life. It can happen to anyone of us or anyone we love.

What we have learned  . . . 

1. We each need a health care plan for extended care, age does not matter.
2. We need certain documents in place before the event happens to take care of our future needs and allowing others to handle our affairs when we cannot. Please, do not make it difficult on your family.
3. We need to know who will take care of us if and when the time comes.
4. We need health insurance to cover our expenses, especially, long term care insurance if at all possible. It can be expensive but important when you way the cost down the road when you are without it.
5. Make sure the appropriate people, those listed as decision makers on your behalf, have copies of the documents. Doctors, DNR and Healthcare Advanced Directive and family member(s) who are listed in the Healthcare Advanced Directive, Durable Power of Attorney and Wills and Trust.  We could not find my mother-in-laws will which made finalizing her affairs much more difficult. My brother-in-law did not have a Healthcare Advanced Directive which made the decision of turning off the respirator and letting him go our decision, so very difficult. Do not make your family make these decisions for you.

Please think about your care, or a family member, and your family if you became in need of care orfull time care or some type of long term medical assistance. Have a emergency plan in place!

  May Monthly Assignments
3-Month Food Storage 

3-Month Food Storage  . . . 

This year we are working towards a 3-Month Food Storage supply. Each families will be unique in that not one family eats the same things. You will tailor your food storage according to what your family will eat. Do not purchase items just because they are sale, your family will not eat foods they do not like, and you have just wasted valuable money that could be put towards foods they will eat.

A 3-Month Food Storage supply consists of commercially canned and packaged food and home canning foods. You can also include frozen foods.

In January we worked on keeping track of what your family eats in a month. Go back to January 2018 posting to see the details and a printable chart to keep track. Now that you have figured out what your family eats in a month you can set up an inventory notebook.

In February I showed you how to set up your Food Storage and Emergency Supply Inventory Notebook. Go back to the February 2018 positing to see how to do this.

In March and April we continued to add commercially canned and packaged foods, frozen foods, and home canned foods to your 3-Month Food Storage. Watch sales, allowing to purchase more. Keep track in your inventory notebook. Rotate as needed.

This month, May, continue to add to your 3-Month Food Storage. 

Big box stores vs regular grocery stores: Recently I purchased a case of Kirkland brand, 12 cans of green beans (14.5 oz each) at Costco for $5.99. That works out to 50 cents a can, a great price. At the regular grocery store like Safeway, Ralph's or Albertsons in Southern California, USA they run, on sale, about $.70-$1.00. And of course, at the discounts stores they are $1 each, but watch the expiration dates. So clearly in this case the big box store is less expensive, but it depends on the item. Do the math and watch your local grocery stores for the best price. Watch for case lot sales too.

Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Emergency Cooking 

What would you do if you could not use your conventional stove or it was not safe to cook inside your house after a disaster?

How would you cook in an emergency situation? 

We each need to think about this possibility and prepare for it. We each should have some other source for cooking, be it a BBQ (gas or charcoal),  Butane stove, Coleman stove, a fire pit, a fireplace or some other means. We should have have cooking equipment, like old pots, pans, skillets and utensils we can use. We have a large plastic container with such cooking equipment. You also need fuel for the type of cooking equipment you have, enough for 3+ months. 

Take inventory of your cooking equipment, add another type along with it's fuel, repair or replace broken ones, and add some pots and pans, etc. Keep all this equipment together in your garage or a backyard storage shed. Click here to learn about different types of emergency cooking equipment. Or, you can click under "Postings" on the right of this blog, scroll down and click on "Cooking, Heating and Lighting". 

Emergency Preparedness Ideas 

Another old saying I love . . .

Good old-fashioned horse sense!

What does it mean? The Webster Dictionary states, "the ability to make good judgments or decisions".  People with horse sense are smart and practical and can be counted on to make good decisions. In an emergency situation we need good old-fashioned horse sense. Keep your head on your shoulders, stay calm, pray and listen to the guidance of the Holy Ghost and make good decisions. It could save your life, others and help you when disasters are upon you and about to strike.

Have a great month, become better prepared than you are today, do not procrastinate your preparedness, add to your 3-Month Food Storage, acquire some emergency cooking equipment, and have some good old-fashioned horse sense when disasters are upon you. 

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