Emergency Planning

Emergency Planning

There are a few ways dialysis patients can be impacted by emergencies such as forest fires, winter storms or flooding. Here are some ways to be prepared in case of an emergency weather situation:

Unit Closures

While many of our facilities have never had to face any type of emergency or evacuation, some have been affected over the past few years. It is not always a natural disaster that can affect a dialysis unit. If a facility is having structural or electrical issues, that may require us to temporarily relocate patients until necessary work is completed.

In Manitoba some of the issues that may lead to evacuation or temporary closure of a unit include flooding, forest fires, water contamination, lack of water or hydro outages.

When a unit has to be closed temporarily, patients will be contacted about alternate arrangements for where they will get their treatment.

A list of dialysis unit locations and contact information can be found here. If you cannot get ahold of your unit, you can contact your regional health authority or 204-632-3607.

Affected Homes

Some patients may have to evacuate their homes in an emergency situation. If you are evacuated from your home, make sure any assisting organizations know you are a dialysis patient. If you are leaving your community, make sure to contact your dialysis unit (when possible) for instructions on where to go for dialysis.

Some people may be affected by weather and not able to make it to a dialysis treatment on short notice. In this case, please call your unit to make a plan with your health-care team. They can help manage your health needs and plan for your next treatment.

What to consider:

Before an emergency

  • Keep a current list of your medicines and dosages and carry it with you – try to keep a two-week supply of medicines and diet needs at home.
  • Consider having a landline phone in your home and a cell phone – you may or may not lose either phone service during adverse weather/outages.
  • Make an emergency phone list including your unit/health-care team’s contact information.
  • Talk to your health team and renal dietitian about what to do if you have to miss a dialysis treatment (or more than one treatment).
  • Other emergency supplies to consider:
    A battery-powered AM/FM radio and extra batteries
    Flashlights with plenty of extra batteries or candles and matches – (Remember never to use matches until you have checked for gas leaks.)
    A first-aid kit
    A fire extinguisher

When an emergency happens:

  • If your dialysis unit is being evacuated, you will be called and instructed on what to do for your next treatment.
  • If you must go to an emergency shelter, tell the person in charge about your dialysis needs.
  • Stay in contact with your unit. If you are unable to contact your unit, call 204-632-3607. Please notify your dialysis unit of address and telephone changes including the temporary telephone numbers where you can be reached.
  • If you have to go without a treatment for two or more days, talk to your health-care team about how to manage your fluid and mineral levels. High levels of these in your body could be life-threatening.

More information for home dialysis patients

  • Try to have two weeks worth of home dialysis supplies on hand.
  • Register with your water and power companies, so they know your need to get service restored as soon as possible.