This is something I touched on a little in my post Family and Friends, in that post I talked about elderly family members. But, I didn’t cover family members with other disabilities. This is going to sound really harsh, but any person in your life who depends on electricity to survive, like a ventilator, has a slim chance of surviving after a major collapse. Zero chance if the power grid goes down for any reason.
What you’re going to have to figure into your prepping plans is what to do for disabled family members. I know, “disabled” covers a huge span of issues and degrees of severity. Your plan of action is going to depend entirely on your situation and how self sufficient your family member is. A former neighbor has a son with Down Syndrome, he functions about the same as a 5 year old child. He can help with simple tasks and as long as someone is there he knows and trusts, he might do alright. A current neighbor has advanced Multiple Sclerosis, she needs a power lift to get in and out of bed and the bathtub; she requires oxygen at night or she stops breathing. Gail stands zero chance of surviving long-term without electricity.
Disabled includes damage we’ve inflicted on our bodies, too. My back is a total mess due to work related abuse, I have trouble doing much and require powerful medications to do what I can. I couldn’t walk to our bug out location, no way. Once my medications run out, I have no idea what I’ll do. Harvest “ditch weed” is my only option. My husband, Bear, blew out his knee a few years ago. He’s put off surgery due to our financial situation. We’ve been able to keep it from getting worse with Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM blend, but its not healed. Between the 2 of us, we make a whole person! We belong to a group that knows our limitations and they don’t have a problem with them.
What you need to do while things are still relatively quiet and stable is, sit down and go over just what health/physical/mental/emotional issues are present with you, your family and anyone you will be bringing into your circle after a disaster. Be honest in your assessment of your own capabilities and limitations. Don’t think you’ll be able to “tough it out” or “get through it” unless you’ve been doing so already. The stress and added workload post disaster will be beyond anything any of us in America have had to deal with before. It isn’t the time to find your limitations and to suddenly toughen up. Family members will need to same evaluation, if you have a family member who has physical limitations, be prepared to pick up any slack and make sure everyone else is on board with it, too. With your friends you can be a little more ruthless and by that I mean, look at them as if they were just some strangers you heard about on TV. Would you want them with you? If they have limitations, what are those? Do you need or want the extra stress and burden of the extra workload?
Mental illness is a whole other subject. What is the diagnosis? How stable are they on and off medications? What is the level of comprehension? Are they able to care for themselves? Will you be able to trust them?? Trust them alone with any firearms? Would you be able to trust them to “watch your back”?
There are probably a couple dozen more questions you could come up with on top of mine. These questions have to be asked and honest answers have to be sought in order to move forward. Only you can answer those questions, but, remember, those answers will affect everyone you’re responsible for.