10. Make sure you and your spouse share phone numbers of close family members and friends in your cell phone contact list.
09. It is a good idea to enable both your cell phones to make international calls especially if you have immediate relatives overseas. This service is turned off by default on most phones in the US.
08. When you go to the emergency room there is no needs to take clothes along because if you are admitted they’ll ask you to change to hospital attire.
07. If you are admitted to the ICU in all probability it is very serious. The doctors never tell the patients how serious they are to avoid setting off a panic/anxiety attack. Also, they don’t call the family until it gets very critical.
06. Use email to communicate with friends and family about the progress of the sick person. Phone calls can be hard to handle during such crisis. Besides, hospitals insist on limiting the use of cell phones.
05. Too many friends showing up at the hospital (no matter how well-intentioned) is not of much help especially if they are not good at handling crisis situations themselves. It is a delicate balance between providing much needed moral support and becoming an overhead yourself! Besides, only immediate family are allowed to see the patient.
04. If you are self-employed it is a good idea to get some decent insurance (don’t cut corners on the premiums) especially if you are over the age of 35. You might think that you are healthy and barely visit the Dr. but when a big emergency strikes, medical costs in the US are so outrageous you could be completely wiped out.
03. Always have a family friend (or have alternate arrangements in place) who can pick up and drop off the kids at school (or other classes). You might need to do some paper work at school (depending on the school) to make this possible. Also, kids are not allowed in the hospital. So if you take them there they will have to remain in the lobby!
02. When you are feeling really sick, don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room. Most of us think of it as a “big pain” to go there. But its better to be safe than sorry.
01. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams off” — Don’t hesitate to reach out and seek the prayers of friends and family.
Note: All of the above are relevant in the US and based on unfortunate personal experiences of mine. Depending on where you live you might need to tweak these appropriately to your environment. The reality is that emergencies strike everywhere and at anytime and it doesn’t hurt to be at least aware if not prepared.