Life with a medical condition can certainly be challenging at times. Most everyone will experience a physical limitation or ailment at some point in their lives (glasses, contacts, blood pressure medicine, etc), but for others the difference in lifestyle can be persistent.
If you do have a medical condition that requires additional care – how can you also live a Prepper lifestyle? What things must be considered to prepare for an unknown disaster or emergency?
Good news folks – it is 100% possible for anyone with a medical condition or physical limitation to be prepared, the process just has a few extra steps.
When I am talking about physical limitations it could be things as serious as physical handicap down to simply wearing glasses. If things get bad, the local doctor or pharmacy will probably not be available so it’s important to plan ahead!
Let’s take a moment to explore 5 tips for people with physical or medical limitations and how you can better prepare for these issues in a survival situation or even collapse.
1) Fully Consider Your Situation
The first thing you need to do is be honest about your medical situation and the various ways your condition requires support on a regular basis. If you have a very common condition like diabetes and are currently managing it well with treatment, consider what would happen without your medication and how long your supply typically lasts.
During a real emergency, it might only take a few days for medication to run out or the power could go out immediately – both are real life-threatening situations for some. In that moment you might not have the time to react, that’s why it is critical to understand your main areas of reliance ahead of time.
Take a full inventory of the items you need in your specific situation. This might include medications, equipment or even personal help. Here are a few things to consider:
- Medication – can you get a backup prescription?
- Contacts and Glasses – do you have backups?
- Syringes and other Medical Equipment
- Electricity for medical equipment
- Caretakers – what if they can’t get to you?
- Backups of everything!
2) PLAN PLAN PLAN
The next step is to use your findings to create a detailed set of plans. Lay out all that it will take to be prepared in a disaster with your condition.
Your plans should include short terms situations and long term. If you need meds in a week, what will you do? Most likely your current supply will last that long, but what happens in 2 months? While these are hard questions, that’s what it takes to be a fully prepared!
One of the best methods for planning is to look at all the things that can go wrong. Most preppers like to focus on plans that go well. That’s fine, we need plans. A great method is to work your way back from the worst-case scenario.
Start at your worst. Say you are out of meds or lost your wheelchair or you are nearly blind because your last pair of glasses finally broke: work your way backwards from there and remedy these issues. What will you need to do today to assure these things don’t happen or if they do, you have a backup?
Also, where will you store your back up medicine or gear? Consider what you would do if you need to leave quickly in the middle of the night. What if instead you find yourself trapped in your room, but your basement has your supplies? Be sure to consider everything!
3) Make things easier for yourself
After you have laid the ground work it’s time to start improving the parts and pieces. Starting with yourself, begin to strengthen all that you can. Depending on your limitation you might be able to strengthen all or some of your body and give yourself a head start.
Cleaning up your diet and getting in shape is not only the best bet for a coming disaster but it could possibly help some symptoms of your condition. A proper diet and fitness can have a tremendous impact on some conditions. Full disclosure – I had high cholesterol but was able to drop it tremendously through a change in diet – so no meds for me anymore!
Of course, this step won’t work for everyone. However, if you can, you most definitely should start some clean eating and physical fitness regimen that forces you to improve.
4) Consult a Medical Professional
Now that we have thoroughly considered our key weak spots, its time to loop in your doctor or medical professional. Talk to them about your condition and what they would recommend in case of an emergency. Ask them for advice on how to be prepared for possible interruptions in medication or power.
If you feel uncomfortable expressing your full Prepper tendencies, adjust the discussion for more every day type situations. Bring up very real-world questions like below that can apply to many situations:
- What should I do to be prepared for an extended power outage? [Make sure you have back up power]
- What if I cannot leave my home to get a refill of my prescription? [Check out our Guide to Bugging In]
- What should I do to prepare for an evacuation in advance? [Check out our Guide to Bugging Out]
You could find an opportunity to get a bigger prescription, so you have more at home at any given time. There could be a reliable back up solution that you could keep for an emergency. There may also be natural ailments that can assist with your issue.
No matter how big or small the steps might be you need to take them today. Talk to your physician and ask questions about long term disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes and see how they can help you be prepared.
5) Build a Community
Finally, consider your immediate circle and community as a support mechanism.
For a person with medical or physical limitations, having a community to help one another is crucial. The very worst-case scenario is going to be standing alone in a fallen world or even in a natural disaster.
It is critical to come out of your comfort zone and start doing things within the community. One of the best ways to get the ball rolling is to start a community gardening group. It’s a cheap and easy task that gets tons of by in. Its relatively prepper oriented and is a great way to bring people together.
Small groups become large groups and soon you will have a coalition of people who are communicating on a regular basis. Bring value to that group and you will be taken care of, as you take care of others. That is the most rewarding avenue you can take.
No Better Time Than Today!
The good news – You are not the first person to undertake such a task! There are many resources out there and you can find a whole host of them with a simple search.
I would consider following W.D Sultemeier aka the wheelchair prepper. He wrote an inspiring article over at M.D Creekmore (link here). You should certainly check this one out if you have a physical disability.
In any journey, the most important move you take is the first one. Make a pact, set a goal and make your first move TODAY!