Hurricane Season: Preparing for Safety

The hurricane season is upon us again. Much as we would like it to stay away with all of its complications, there is little to be done about it. Except adequate preparation. As we prepare for impending challenges, it is especially important to keep the elderly in mind.

So, as the 2018 hurricane season draws ever closer in Florida, how can we ensure the safety of the elderly ahead of time? The first step is recognizing that emergency shelters, even those for persons with special needs, are small, few, and usually over-packed – definitely not ideal conditions for your loved ones. How then do you prepare for a hurricane emergency?

Save Essential Documents
The first part of your preparation should involve salvaging important documents in the house. Gather important documents, such as social security cards, legal documents, insurance policies, passports, important phone numbers, and birth and marriage certificates, into a waterproof container. Store these somewhere safe and easily accessible.

Emergency Medical Supplies
Seniors are always in need of their prescription drugs. You do not want a shortage at such a critical time when getting such supplies will be difficult. Store at least two weeks of medical supplies and prescription medication for the senior. Do well to include essentials like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and other important OTC drugs like aspirin. Ensure this kit is packed and ready to rumble at short notice.

Home Supplies
Just as important in your preparation are regular home supplies. Put together a small lightweight suitcase containing clothes, good shoes, a rain gear, and a flashlight.

Food Supplies
No one does without food, right? Put together food supplies that can last up to two weeks. Ensure these are vital non-perishables. Also ensure that there is a steady supply of water for the period.

Get an Emergency Kit
The American Red Cross and a few other organizations make provisions for emergency kits. Do well to obtain one for the senior’s home. You can also reserve one in the car if the senior still drives.

Conduct a Safety Inspection
Hurricanes are usually preceded by storms. If a storm comes before a senior staying alone is moved, you do not want them getting injured by displaced items. Conduct a safety check to make sure items hanging on the wall (artworks, pictures, etc.) and freestanding items (cabinets, bookcases, etc.) are firmly secure so they don’t fall over.

Establish a Support Network
Get a few persons living in close proximity of your loved one to run checks and offer assistance when needed. Familiarize these persons with your disaster plans and with the location of the emergency supplies. Also ensure the senior is able to reach these persons when in need.

Consider Alternative Options
Power will likely be lost for a few days in the event of a hurricane. If power is needed to care for the health issues faced by the senior, it is important that you make arrangements for alternative options. Alternatives are also needed in the event that staying at home proves to be hazardous.

Senior Options establishes extensive hurricane plans for all of our clients to remain safe and comfortable.

Contact us for more information on hurricane preparation and ensuring your loved ones’ safety.

Categories: Aging, Caregiving