Day 19 of 30 Days of MD: Hurricane Prep and MD


by Danielle "Dani" Liptak |

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Day 19 of #30DaysOfMD Introducing Connor: As I sit here comfortably able to look back on my recent experience with Hurricane Dorian I begin to realize how lucky I am. Not lucky in the sense that we escaped serious damage but lucky to have a warrior of a mother. She along with my 86 year old grandfather were responsible for getting everything put away and prepped for the storm. My grandfather being as old as he is, often needs to take breaks leaving more for my mother to do. And she really does Do It All. Having FSHD I use a wheelchair the majority of the time. As a result it can make certain daily routines challenging. However being handicapped and facing a natural disaster those challenges are magnified tenfold. The worst part is not being able to help those around me prepare for the storm. So much to do and I sit here feeling helpless. I watch as my mother and grandfather move outside furniture and haul heavy metal storm shutters securing them over the windows. And this is all just to prepare the outside of the house for an incoming storm. During the onset of the storm being handicapped has its own set of challenges I found out first hand. The main decision everyone on a coast has to make with an approaching hurricane is Do I Leave or Do I Stay? Often the smarter and safest answer is to leave, especially for those who are confined to an electric wheelchair. Electricity being the main emphasis. Those who are physically handicapped often rely upon electronic devices to help them throughout their day. Personally I use a wheelchair and an electric toilet seat elevator to help stand me up so I can then get back into my wheelchair. If the power had gone out during the storm (which luckily it didn’t this time) the toilet seat elevator would have been useless and the wheelchair can last 1-2 days on a charge. This was a big oversight on my part for not thinking ahead and planning for a possible power outage. In all honesty they’re somewhat minor electrical devices. Others who are afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy can rely upon life giving electrical devices such as breathing machines. *CONTINUED IN THE COMMENTS*

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