A Backup Plan for Dialysis During a Natural Disaster Could Save Your Life

When a natural disaster like a hurricane, tornado, flood, or severe winter storm is bearing down, you can count on hearing this kind of advice:

  • Stock up on food and water
  • Have a flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Put all your important documents in a safe place
  • Top off your gas tank
  • Get belongings together in case you need to evacuate
  • Stay close to a radio to get updates and information

It’s sound advice you should follow. But if you’re on dialysis, this basic emergency preparedness plan is missing an important element. What are you going to do about getting dialysis treatments during a power outage or natural disaster?

If you don’t have a plan, you could be in trouble. In a recent study of dialysis patients living in the path of Hurricane Sandy, researchers found that 26 percent missed dialysis treatments, and 66 percent didn’t get dialysis treatments on time.

Skipping a dialysis treatment could become a matter of life and death, causing excess fluid and toxins to build-up in your body. And if you want to prevent that from happening, you need to have a plan such as:

  • Keep an emergency supply of medications on hand in case you can’t get to a dialysis appointment
  • Find out in advance which dialysis clinics in your area have back-up generator power
  • If you do your dialysis treatments at home, invest in a generator to keep your machine running during a natural disaster or power outage

That generator would come in handy during a power outage caused by a natural disaster to use a microwave, and keep your freezer stocked with Dialysis-Friendly meals, too.

Taking a little time now to prepare for a natural disaster when you have dialysis, will prevent a lot of stress and worry when it does happen. It could even save your life.