Throughout the years, I have lived in several places that were prone to natural disasters. New Zealand is earthquake territory, so was California (even though to a lesser extent), and Indiana has tornadoes (thank god, I never had to experience one). The earthquakes I did experience were really small, a little rumble. Now however, I live in the Pacific Northwest, where within the next 50 years, a major quake (around 9 on the scale) is about to hit, another great Cascadia Earthquake. Scientists only found out only 15 years about this, which is a problem, as most towns and citiesare not ready to stand up to an earthquake. Portland, for example, will be cut in two parts, as it is assumed that most bridges will collapse. (Still, the city is putting money into retrofitting buildings).
People are encouraged to put together earthquake supply kits, and we have had two (a regular one and a backup, in case we can’t get to the one in the basement) for a few years now. Then I realized, that I was woefully unprepared IBD wise. If a big earthquake hits, hospitals will be overrun, and Remicade infusions probably won’t be available for a while, which would most likely put me in a flare pretty quickly.
Here are things I added to my supplies kit:
- Immodium, and laxative (I am one of the few Crohn’s patients, who has suffered from both, so I am not taking a chance), and of course electrolytes.
- An additional month supply of my regular daily meds (this may be a hassle insurance-wise, so talk to your doctor first on how to approach the topic with insurance).
- Extra prednisone, with two plans by my GI on how to taper, depending on the severity of flare. And I fully expect a flare, because if hospitals are barely working, Remicade won’t be high on the list of things they can provide. I came across this blog post about a patient with Crohn’s Disease surviving Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico (the one where individual No.1 threw paper towels at people, yes), and it truly made me wonder how governments are preparing for natural disasters. Do they?
- Extra underwear and clothes, because, yes, accidents may happen.
- Digestable, easy to make food- even if it is ramen noodles, or potato flakes for mashed potatoes.
- Zinc ointment and lidocaine cream
- Extra toilet paper, including wet wipes.
Once you have put together an Earthquake supply kit, and added the things that you need to somewhat manage your IBD, you need to obviously routinely exchange things- water does go bad, medications have an expiration date, etc.
I hope I will never have to use any of my earthquake kit preparations, though.