Are you a “Prepper”?

prepper2I had the phone pinned against my ear talking to a friend while making Mikelle’s bed, sweeping the floor and reining in the morning chaos.  Mikelle’s VCR/TV played in the background. The Today Show typically brought light morning news and entertainment more like background noise on this sunny morning. That is until Katie Couric announced a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

While talking to my friend,   I watched a plane devour the second World Trade Center Tower and the world changed. It was September 11, 2001 and at that moment found my inner “prepper.”

My first reaction was to go to the grocery store and spend $200 and fill up our 1992 Dodge Caravan with gas while others watched events unfold.  I knew I had to make sure Mikelle and I would be alright. As I did this, I called Kasey who worked just blocks from the Trade Center as a manager of a local Starbucks. He was ok. So was his fiancé, Allison.

As we know our world has changed. September is National Disaster Preparedness month and I am encouraging you to prepare.  Mostly likely, your preparations while be much like mine these days as a natural disaster, a power outage or a long weather event is more likely where we need to put our preparation efforts.  In Colorado, it is not unusual to have a snow storm blow through leaving a couple of feet of snow.  Wheelchairs and snow don’t work well together. Or, like in 2013, we experienced a 100 year flood.  Out on the plains tornados, flash floods and hail storms are the primary threats.

As special needs parents, we need to consider the extraordinary needs of our kids in extraordinary events.  This is how we prepare.  Please share your ideas.  Let’s take care of each other!

My Stockpile Goods in the Home

  • Candles
  • Games
  • Solar Charger
  • Waterproof matches
  • Windup radio
  • Sanitary products (toilet paper, paper towels, sanitary napkins)
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Plastic Bags
  • Duct Tape
  • Wet Wipes
  • Medicines (including dietary supplements, painkillers, first aide supplies)
  • 10 days of meals
  • Numerous flashlights and extra batteries, plus battery powered lights

In the Car

  • A backpack chock full of small quantities of the above. Good for three days.
  • Water
  • Can opener
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • Chairs
  • Mirrors for signaling
  • Extra clothes including down jacket
  • Emergency roadside equipment (charger, tools, etc)
  • Extra medicine in both backpack and glove box
  • Portable stove and pan
  • Coffee! (For Mikelle!)
  • Extra pair of glasses and sunglasses

On Mikelle’s Wheelchair

  • Two sets of extra clothes
  • Plastic bags
  • Extra medicine
  • Towels
  • Rain poncho and heat retaining Mylar blanket
  • Scissors
  • Multiuse screwdriver

Stress can affect our children with a disability. Try and make this preparation fun.  Map out a varied of routes out of town and come up with fun names.

Did you know crayons can become candles?  You can open cans without can openers? You can learn lots of “prepper” strategies from the Crazy Russian Hacker…I don’t think he really is Russian. But, he really is fun.

A few final notes:

  • Make copies of all your important papers like Social Security and Medicaid Information. Send them to relatives in other parts of the country, if you can.  Load important information in secure electronic format which can be easily accessed from another computer or smartphone.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Only ten percent of the population are first responders.