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Getting settled in your new neighborhood is a big task. There are boxes to unpack, utilities to organize, new schools to register for, and new neighbors to meet. You have to learn new routes to work, and if you moved because of an employment opportunity, a new job to learn.
On top of that, you have to figure out new traffic patterns and where to find the best grocery stores, how to get to the post office or find the library and other services. You’re trying out new restaurants, exploring the sights and just getting settled in.
Then, you fall ill on the weekend, or your child discovers broken glass the hard way. With all the busyness and activity, that last thing on your mind is having to deal with an unexpected medical emergency. You realize that while you signed all of the paperwork in HR at your new job, you didn’t really read it and follow instructions to find a local doctor, determine the nearest hospital or urgent care that takes your insurance or even locate a pharmacy.
This common scenario can derail your relocation experience and make navigating an emergency even more difficult.
Follow this guide for locating the necessary emergency services ahead of time:
- Dedicate a few hours to locating a nearby urgent care to deal with minor issues. Ask neighbors, school teachers, and co-workers for recommendations.
- Urgent care facilities often are open on the weekend or later hours to care for simple infections and respiratory illnesses like a cold or flu, scrapes and bruises, sprains and other minor issues that need immediate attention but not hospitalization.
- Find the nearest 24-hour pharmacy. Call ahead to make certain they take your prescription coverage.
- Find the nearest hospital that has a trauma-level 24-hour emergency room and that takes your insurance.
- Be sure to locate an emergency dentist too. A dentist specializing in emergency care may be able to save a broken or knocked out tooth while waiting to get into your regular dentist might be too late.
Learn directions to these locations from your home, your work and your children’s schools. Drive by each location to become familiar with the proper entrances for emergencies. Keep the addresses and phone numbers of these locations in your contacts. List them by “pharmacy,” “urgent care,” or “hospital” along with the business name, since during an actual emergency you may not be able to recall the business name. Keep a printed or hand-written list on your refrigerator or another visible location in your home for older children or childminders.
Pets have emergencies too. Not all pet hospitals handle emergencies, so locate the nearest one to you and find a veterinarian that has a nearby clinic or makes house calls.
If it is possible your child or pet has ingested something poisonous, memorize the number for the American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222.
Put this number in your phone and post it on your refrigerator. Be sure to share it with babysitters and pet-minders.
For assistance locating other emergency services in your neighborhood, talk to your real estate professional for recommendations.