Are you prepared for any disaster that might impact your life or your ability to dialyze? Depending on where you live, there are many different types of disasters. You and your family should have a plan in place and practice your plan so that when the need arises, you can stay calm and be prepared.
You also should have alternative plans and specific means to communicate any changes that might occur. Dialysis clinics are required to provide disaster plans to their patients and practice drills. Your dialysis team will instruct you how to take yourself off of your dialysis machine if you are able. Be aware of how your particular machine operates. If you are unable to perform a “take-off” procedure safely, your dialysis team will perform the procedure for you. Always follow their directions. If you are a home dialysis patient, you will be trained in emergency procedures during your training.
A thumb drive for your computer is a convenient place to store your emergency plan. Keep it with you at all times, possibly on a key ring. Have your medical records and treatment orders stored on the drive, so that if you needed to dialyze somewhere other than your clinic, you will have access to important information that the center can use to ensure you receive proper dialysis treatment.
Be aware of your fluid and diet limitations. There are more detailed lists of supplies and tips that you should have on hand to be prepared for emergencies. In the event of a major disaster you may not be able to dialyze in your center. You should be prepared to manage your health for at least 3 to 5 days. The Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition provides many more tips on how to be prepared.