Saturday, January 24, 2009

Preparedness Tip - Prescription Eyewear

When speaking with Optician Robert Hoffman at Empire Vision in Dewitt recently, we were reminded about having a spare pair of glasses....thanks Bob.

When preparing your emergency evacuation kit make sure you include a pair of glasses that will hold up in a variety of conditions. Also make sure you include the prescription information you get from your most recent eye exam on your Emergency Medical Information Form ( and Critical Information Document as backup data that can be placed on a Portable USB Drive. You might even note that on your ICE Medical Card as well.

Since we advocate redundancy in preparation - back that up by writing the prescription on the hard case your store the glasses in with silver metallic or black Sharpie marker along with your name. If you rely on "cheaters" from the drugstore then make sure you note the magnification factor on the case to avoid confusion later on.

If you can afford new glasses or your insurance coverage allows you to offset the purchase with insurance, then having a dedicated pair of glasses is an excellent idea. As we all know, looking for what we need or THINK we need when evacuating is a practice fraught with failure in most cases.

Spare eyeglasses can be as ugly as the military combat glasses (aka birth control glasses) or trendy transitional lens designer models. Remember that you won't need to be styling much in an emergency but you will need dependable (durable) and effective vision wear - if you don't need any vision assistance...that's one less hassle.

All of us will however need protection from UV light whether or not you require vision assistance. Spending time outside in bright sunlight can cause you to lose your effective vision in very short order (sun blindness).

If you are really economizing here or need something inconspicuous in a small emergency kit, there are paper thin sunglasses you can get from your optician (like 3D movie glasses) or online from Brigade or Nitro-Pak. You will be severely hampered in your self help survival efforts if you suddenly become blind.

Glasses having a transitional lens (vs. bifocal), photochromic UV protection (vs. separate sunglasses or clip ons), polycarbonate (vs. glass), ANSI Z87 or Military High Velocity Impact Resistance (vs no impact resistance) lenses may be your best all around bet. A pair of eyeglass retainers are in order if you are on the move - also make sure you can wear ski or protective goggles over the glasses.

Prep Tip:
Dedicating as little as 10 minutes every day to complete at least one act of preparation will result in your spending 5 hours of effort toward your preparedness goals in one month.

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