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Natural Disaster Preparation and Living with an Ostomy

Laura Cox
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
04/11/18  12:29 PM PST
natural disaster preparation and living with an ostomy

Natural disasters are part of life for many people living in the United States. Being prepared to evacuate your home without much notice is important for everyone, but especially those with specific medical needs. Here are some tips for natural disasters preparation and living with an ostomy.

  1. Always have extra ostomy supplies available

    • Even if you still have unused supplies when you are able to order more ostomy supplies, I would encourage you to order more and have a “just-in-case” stock of ostomy supplies in your home.
  2. Have an emergency kit with one to three month’s worth of supplies in a bag you can easily grab

    • If you do have to evacuate, it may be impossible for your supplier to get supplies to you. It’s important to have a good amount of extra supplies so you don’t have to worry about running out before you’re able to receive more ostomy supplies.
  3. Put the number of your supplier in your phone and written in your emergency kit, as well as the reference numbers for the supplies you use, and contact information for the local ostomy support group in the area you are planning to evacuate to.

    • This way, you’ll be able to contact people who can help you get the supplies you need if necessary.
    • You can find a directory of support groups at ostomy.org.
  4. In your kit, write a short paragraph that can inform someone about your medical condition, in case you are unable to do so.

    • This precautionary measure will help inform healthcare professionals of your unique care needs if you are unable to communicate them at the time.
  5. Keep updated copies of any medication and supply prescriptions in this emergency kit, as well as a written document of your doctor’s name and contact information.

    • Keeping all of this information with you will allow you to receive refills of prescriptions wherever you are.
  6. Let your friends and family know you are evacuating and what your plan is.

    • It’s always a good idea to have loved ones aware of where you are so they can help in any way they can. Ideally, if you have family or close friends living in the area, you should make an evacuation plan in advance, and let others know about your planned evacuation area. When disasters occur, the phone lines are often overloaded, making it difficult to keep people updated with your specific plan.

Did we miss any tips for natural disaster preparation and living with an ostomy? Please let us know in the comments!

For more information, see related articles and resources here:

Serving Medicare Ostomates Nationwide
Dear Laura, I wear a two piece ostomy bag. I need help with concealing an ostomy bag. When I move around my shirt hikes up and the tip of the bag peeks out from under my shirt.
Tom
Hi Tom, I have a few suggestions that may help!
 
First, I'm wondering if a stealth belt would be a good option for you. This is a black belt that you can conveniently tuck your pouch...


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