Being prepared for a disaster is not an exact science. “You can’t be prepared for all disasters,” explained Dr. Rick Blubaugh, D.O., Emergency Department. “You can however have a few things stored on hand to serve you for the first few hours.” Inside Dr. Blubaugh’s Emergency Preparedness Pack you’ll find: basic bandages – to stop bleeding, a notebook with important phone numbers and contact information, flashlight, extra batteries, radio – to learn where triage and help centers are located, soap and water – infection greatly decreases when you treat wounds quickly, emergency blanket or parka to stay dry, early planning also ensures you have necessary medical information when you need it. “An emergency situation, whether an accident you have suffered or a natural disaster that has you leaving your home on a moment’s notice, is not the time to try and organize this information,” explained Cindy Gaddie, director, Skaggs Quality Improvement. “You should have it organized and ready should you or your family members need it immediately.” Your medical record creates the foundation for planning your care and treatment; serves as a means for doctors, nurses and others caring for you to communicate about your needs; is a legal document describing the care you received; and is a tool for you or your insurance company to verify that services billed were actually provided. Start with the most current medical information and work back. “Tell emergency contacts (family or friend) where they can quickly find this information,” explained Gaddie. “Update your information anytime you have a change, such as a surgery, change in medication or allergies, etc.”

Information to include when getting medically organized
• Emergency contact name and contact information
• Advance health directives, if applicable
• Doctor and pharmacy information
• Current medical conditions you are being treated for
• Family history
• Medical history
• Major surgeries
• Last adult immunization
• Allergies Medications list: start date, drug name and strength, dose, when and why you take it.
“Healthcare is very complex these days,” said Cindy Gaddie. “It’s not like in days past when one physician would see the entire family. There are so many specialists available and in many cases people have more than one provider.” Organizing your family’s medical information is a positive step forward in becoming a key member of your own healthcare team. Remember to update your medical information any time it changes.
Michelle Leroux, Media Relations Specialist, Skaggs Regional Medical Center, Branson, Mo.


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