There are five basic aspects of health we need to address while prepping, and we are here today to spell them out for you.
Back in July, Spice and Salty spill the beans on “health things to consider BEFORE the SHTF” in a Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You podcast. Here’s a link to that episode if you want to follow along:
The Five Things:
First, you have to be realistic and match your plans to your abilities. Can you actually carry your bag on your back as far as you have to carry it, in the weather you might have, in the shoes etc. you’ll have available? When we tried it, Salty’s knees didn’t appreciate the pack, so he developed a different plan (bicycle). Your plan has got to work for you, not you ‘after I lose those extra pounds’ or ‘I’m gonna get in better shape.’
Second, it’s also enormously helpful to reduce your health needs. Get issues taken care of while medical care is available. Have a questionable tooth but don’t like the dentist? I guarantee you’d rather have your dentist take care of it now than have a bigger problem with no dentist available. Routine self-care is a big part of this, as it can make a giant impact on chronic conditions and general well-being. Flossing your teeth regularly, for example, seriously reduces your risk of a future heart attack. Strange but true.
Third, now’s also the time to collect information. Know your family history, so you know where your vulnerabilities lie. For example, until Salty had a hypertensive crisis I didn’t know such things ran in his family. Once we knew, we could talk to his doctor and develop a plan to handle such things if it happens when he can’t just go to an emergency room for treatment. If your family tends to react to high salt by getting hypertension, you should probably make lower salt a selection factor when choosing your prep foods. A list of your prescriptions should also be in your Go bag, so if you have to evacuate and need a refill you can tell them better what you need than ‘They’re little pink ones, for blood pressure.”
Fourth is to realize that, of course, part of prepping is stocking up. Non-prescription onsumables are pretty easy; just pay attention to cool, dark storage. I look at expiration dates; not to automatically toss things but as a guide. If it’s sold with an expiration date five years out, it’s probably a pretty stable formulation. Prescriptions are harder, particularly for controlled (abusable) drugs; but having a good relationship with your provider can go a long way. Once we explained to our physicians why we wanted some extra (using the true albeit not complete reason that we tend to travel to places without good medical access), our providers built a buffer into our prescriptions. Don’t expect this to work with drugs that are often abused, of course.
Fifth, an often overlooked medical prep, but vital for some of us, is spare eyeglasses. The more you need the glasses, the more glasses you need. I’m pretty blind without glasses, so I keep spare pairs in a variety of places so whichever resource I have on hand, it includes spare glasses. If you usually use contacts, you might consider glasses as a backup. They’re more durable and don’t require care to keep your eyes from rotting.
Obviously this is not an “all-inclusive” list, but these five health-related items are viatally important for preppers to address.
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