Station InitiativesHealthier Together


Make a family emergency plan this summer

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 21, 2024

Healthier Together is sponsored by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.

Many of us prepare for possible emergencies like earthquakes and natural disasters. But do you have a plan in case of a medical emergency or an accident of some kind?

Dr. Mike Woodruff, Executive Medical Director for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah said, “This is a really good time to talk about emergency preparedness for your health.”

Woodruff said traumatic injuries are more common in the summer months as people are out and about enjoying more activities.

“Utahns are really great preparing for the unknown. Many of us have a culture of preparedness. Many of us have stocked up on food and water and extra first aid supplies. And we’re really in a good situation to take care of our friends and our neighbors in the event of an unexpected natural disaster or another event,” he said.

But one thing we don’t always think about is having a plan in place for a health emergency.

By knowing where to go – urgent care or the ER or the doctor’s office, either near your home or where you’re vacationing could save you time and money and help in those crucial moments that could even save lives.

“I would recommend making a plan now so you don’t have any surprises,” said Woodruff.

Traumatic injury is the leading cause of preventable deaths and disability for people ages two to 44 nationwide. In Utah about 16,000 severe traumatic injuries were recorded between 2018 and 2022, leading to 403 fatalities each year. Most of those happen in June, July and August.

“You’re not just making a plan for you, you’re making a plan for your family, your loved ones, your friends, if you can’t take care of yourself and also for the people who might be taking care of you in an unexpected situation like that,” said Woodruff.

Writing down your personal information including medications and primary care doctor and sharing that with the people you may be traveling or recreating with.

“The Poison Control is also a useful and easy to use invaluable resource to have, so write that number down and also Utah’s Suicide and Crisis Lifeline,” said Woodruff.

You can dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Utah Poison control can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.

These emergency numbers are also good to keep on your refrigerator so kids and babysitters can have easy access to this information.

“Yeah, I like the way you’re thinking,” said Woodruff.