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#79766 - 12/13/06 07:40 PM Re: how to evacuate disabled person in the family?
picard120 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 763
this is good cart for moving elderly people over rough terrain which is not possible with standard wheel chair.

elderly parents can become disabled at later age. It is usually difficult to evacuate them before / in the after math of disaster.

#79767 - 12/13/06 09:08 PM Re: how to evacuate disabled person in the family?
311 Offline

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 285
That's a good suggestion about the game carriers, since they are designed to move a heavy "disabled" animal across all sorts of terrain. When you get to the road, remember what you are doing & don't strap Grandpa to the hood of the truck! <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

#79768 - 12/14/06 03:24 AM Re: how to evacuate disabled person in the family?
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Emergencies with disabled people need to be thought out well ahead of need. On foot overland, is simply out of the question.

Regular wheelchairs are bulky and heavy. You might consider getting a folding one like this http://support-mobility.drleonards.com/Support-Mobility/Wheelchairs/Deluxe-Travel-Chair/25056.cfm

My Mom had one of these and they are great. They're sturdy, they fold to 8" wide, and weigh just under 30 lbs. You want to have a flat gel pad to go with it. Yes, they have small wheels, but two people can lift the chair with occupant fairly easily if the person isn't too big. My sister and I carried Mom up steps in hers.

If the big wheelchair is something you need to keep handy, consider getting a carrier for it that fits on the back of the car, that either folds down or can be attached in a hurry.

If oxygen is an issue, try to have more than one source. The most common are the machines, but they do need electric. If there's a reasonable chance you will be evacuating to a site with power, take it. You might want to keep a portable unit for power outages and travel. I always kept 6 or 7 of the small tanks handy. The big ones are a real pain to deal with.

Medications are often critical. Murphy's Law says that a disaster will occur with minimal meds available. Try to get a supply at least 30 days ahead. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do this. It's the insurance company that won't allow this, not your doctor or pharmacist or any law. Talk to the disabled person's doctor and explain what you want to do. The doctor will usually write out an extra prescription, but it has to be paid for as a non-insurance-covered item. Start with the most critical, on the doctor's advice.

Type out all the pertinent information on the patient's medical conditions, who the doctors are, their addresses, phones & fax numbers, SS info, current meds and dosages, and any
drug allergies. Label it as MEDICAL INFO FOR JANE SMITH with a red felt tip marker, and seal in a clear, waterproof container.

Keep enough special foods and favorite comfort foods in a quick-grab container. Consider stocking some Ensure.

Don't forget some entertainment, paperbacks, lg print books, books on tape, etc. My Mom loved those little $10 electronic poker machines. Got extra glasses? Take 'em all!

Favorite or special pillow, fuzzy blankets, water bottle, personal care items, lots of handi-wipes or bath-wipes, a roll of soft paper towels (like Viva).

Pay attention to what the person needs and uses every day, then be ready to provide it or a good substitute.

Always keep in mind that it's bad enough to be in a disaster situation -- how would you feel if you were disabled, too?


#79769 - 12/14/06 04:31 PM Re: how to evacuate disabled person in the family?
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I have searched on this topic in the past and there is very little out there.

The only decent, profressionally done document I have ever run across is produced by the County of Los Angeles's Emergency Survival Program in conjunction with the American Red Cross. The ESP's website is www.espfocus.org. From here, you can drill down to various resources, including this webpage of lots of publications produced by ESP, many in Spanish. In particular, you might be interested in this booklet called "Emergency Preparedness: Taking Responsibility for Your Safety. Tips for People with Disabilities and Activity Limitations". A lot of it is general preparedness advice, and it does have a bunch of questions to get you to think about potential problem areas specifically for this population that you may not have thought of like "Can you give quick instructions about how to safely carry you if needed?" The information may seem obvious to you in your head, but if you have never actually tried or practiced explaining the info quickly and succintly to someone else, in a real emergency, you could fumble with your words, give conflicting info, etc. Anyway, I think it's a worthwhile resource for everyone to read through since we will all interact with people with mobility issues at some point.

Oh, here's the really sad thing about this valuable document. I remember hearing on the radio last year when this booklet was first produced that the county didn't budget enough money to actually reproduce and distribute the handbooks! As far as I know, unless more money was coughed up after that story came out, the Internet is the only widely accessible way to get this document. <shakes head>

#79770 - 12/28/06 06:46 PM Re: how to evacuate disabled person in the family?
physics137 Offline

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 64
Loc: New York City
In EMS we use a stair chair:


It's somewhat more maneuverable than a standard wheelchair, and significantly less weight.

Typical chairs such as the one above are rated at 400-500 lbs.

As the name implies, it can be used (by either 2 or 4 rescuers, preferably with a spotter in addition though this is not necessary) to carry a patient up or down a flight of stairs, wheel the patient along a flat surface, or carry the patient across an uneven surface.

But as another poster mentioned, if the patient is dependent on oxygen that is likely to be a much greater limitation. A standard D tank will only last 15 minutes or so if operating into a non-rebreather. Using a nasal cannula, maybe 45 minutes to an hour (I've never fully emptied a D tank through a cannula so I don't know for sure).

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