A new push is being made to get people prepared for natural disasters after recent hurricanes and earthquakes

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CREVE COEUR, MO – There has been a steady stream of natural disasters in recent weeks.  Now, there’s a new push for you to stock your freezers but it’s not what you may think.

This is National Preparedness Month.

Picture the rescues we’ve been seeing with major hurricanes and now an earthquake. Too often those rescues involve something you don’t see:  First responders struggling to piece together the medical histories of the people they’re trying to save.

The non-profit Bethesda Health Group is trying to help change that through a very common-sense approach.

Be it a major disaster or a house fire your refrigerator/freezer may be among the last things standing.

“As long as the seal stays in tact around it, they’re pretty remarkable,” said West County EMS & Fire Deputy Chief, Kelly Grassmuck.

Bethesda is offering free emergency medical information kits for storage in your freezer with a bright red, stop sign shaped fridge magnet, to let paramedics know where to look.

“We think along those lines where we’re getting prepared for tornados.  We want to make sure we have adequate water and food on hand in case the power is out for a long time,” Grassmuck said.  “This should be part of that as well.”

The kit includes places to list potentially life-saving information like allergies and medications along with emergency medical contacts.  People with terminal illnesses who do not want to be revived can even include a “do not resuscitate order” or DNR.

Firefighters and paramedics most often have to search medicine cabinets or pantries, even purses, for medical clues during emergencies. It’s hardly ideal.

“People tend to keep their medications all in one spot in their house,” Grassmuck said.  “We have to locate that spot, especially if that person is not able to verbalize that location to us…that helps us know how to treat you better and faster.”

Bethesda is offering the kits for free.  Log onto https://www.bethesdahealth.org/safety/ to fill out the form to have one sent to you in the mail.

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