In Case of Pandemic…

April 20, 2020

We all have or should have In-case-of-Emergency documentation, but did we ever think about in case of pandemic? The current situation can make a difference in the way that our emergency plans work. There are many lists and suggestions of “in case of emergency” documents that everyone should have together, but in our current COVID-19 pandemic situation, there may be areas that need to be reviewed or even created.

With the unknown of when the pandemic will end or if we are in the peak of the homebound regulations, the question of access has become a source of anxiety. Below are three areas of access to consider when we are in pandemic.

Access to Resources

Some of our resources are easier to access than others. Groceries are the ones that we are hearing about on the news – we can’t get the basics – milk, eggs, toilet paper, hand sanitizer. There are grocery delivery services, volunteers in the neighborhoods and local nonprofits that are currently marketing their services – facebook, nextdoor and even conversing with neighbors or friends can uncover options.

Our safe deposit box. The place that we have been keeping our trusty resources are in some ways inaccessible. Our financial institutions may still be open but are you able to get to them safely given the WHO recommendations. Many locations are having special hours for seniors and high-risk patrons.  

Many people in the workforce have experienced changes in the work environment. From job insecurity, furloughing, limited hours – to work from home, working in a new location or role. Financial resources may be reduced, and not being able to use your computer, access your desk drawers, use the same extensions to reach people can be tough.

Action: Have you been able to reorient yourself to the new resource allocation? Is there something that is missing that you wish you could have to make your life just a little bit easier?

Access to Care

Our healthcare routine is currently disrupted. Getting to the doctor’s appointments, picking up prescriptions, and going to therapy or residential care facilities is not always possible.

Many providers have been communicating how you can access them if there is a need – often by telemedicine routes. Local or satellite offices are consolidating care in a central location and many doctors are not available every day.

Action: Is your doctor only conducting telehealth visits? If so – the telehealth visits often need technology set up on computers or phones, and walking through the steps now instead of during the appointment can be advantageous.

Access to Loved Ones

Technology is our friend. We may not live with our top-ten people, or even have another person in our home, but phone and video chat have given us the opportunity to access our loved-ones lives in their homes.

If you do need to go to the hospital, a loved one may not permitted to accompany you into the triage area. Your next of kin or preferred person may be high risk and it may not be safe for their health, to come with you.  If you need to stay in the hospital, whether for a birth of a child, broken bone, or in the ICU – your loved ones will not be able to stay or visit. These are challenges that are new to all of us. Health care teams are working to help you connect to your loved ones through ipads and phone conversations.

Action – Have a list of people with their phone numbers and consider who would be able to come with you to the doctor office or hospital that is not high-risk.

As you start putting your new “pandemic” documents and plan together consider using – an online information-safe, as a place to store them. This product gives you the ability to access documents, and files remotely – or from the comforts of your own home. There are various levels of access to allow your family members, caregivers or business associates insight into your documents – as needed. There is even a trusty reminder feature to help you remember that it’s time to update.

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