JOPLIN, MO-- We've heard a lot about what to keep on hand in the event of a disaster. But there are even more rules for the elderly and chronically ill.
"The elderly have to take note of their medications in case the power goes out. Some of these have a shelf life on them, they have to be refrigerated - your insulins, some of your other medications have to be refrigerated at a constant temperature otherwise they could cause health issues." So Freeman Safety Officer Skip Harper suggests keeping an extra supply of medication on hand... and make a back up plan to keep any temperature controlled drugs chilled.
Diabetic patients should also prepare for the worst, says Harper. "The diabetics, what we learned from May 22nd, they cannot go days and days on end without having the proper nutrition. So we have survival packs available for them with just little snacks. They can have something they don't have to cook, something that doesn't have to be refrigerated because these disasters usually go on for several days."
And of course, any storm victim can fall prey to a food born illness from tainted food if the power is out for an extended period. "Refrigeration isn't something you can take for granted. Most refrigerators will store food at a safe temperature for up to 4 hours if you leave the door shut. Freezers you can keep for 24 - 48 hours."