Lately, news reports about natural disasters across the country have been pretty scary. From fires to floods to tornadoes, severe weather events remind us that it’s important for families to plan and prepare. For example, the Atlantic hurricane season is underway, and residents of southern states are advised to know their evacuation zone and shelter locations, as well as have supplies on hand to be ready for possible power outages. I always talk to my clients and their families about planning, regardless of where the client is living.
To keep your loved ones safe, take these steps now to prepare for a hurricane or other emergency:
- Review the evacuation routes in the senior’s community and where shelters are located. If there is a pet involved, make sure that there is a planned shelter, family member, or friend that will accommodate the pet.
- If the senior uses medical equipment in their home that requires electricity, find out how they should prepare for its use during a power outage. Have a plan to make sure that emergency batteries for medical equipment are charged and ready to go.
- Sign up for local alerts to get text messages regarding severe weather.
- Help the senior stock up on emergency supplies and have a “go bag” ready in case they’re required to evacuate. A “go bag” should include a 3-day supply of clothing, nonperishable food and water, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, medications, emergency blanket, sanitation and personal hygiene items, a cell phone and charger, and extra cash. The Red Cross has lists of home emergency supplies and items to have in a “go bag.”
- Keep important documents such as passports and insurance policies in a safe and waterproof place. Ideally, scan important papers to a flash drive and keep a copy with a family member who is out of state if possible.
- Have supplies on hand to protect the senior’s property, such as storm shutters or plywood that can be used to board up windows. Stores will be overwhelmed in the midst of a storm, so prepare early. Know where outdoor items should be stored.
- Help the senior review their homeowners’ insurance and flood policies to know what they cover.
- Remind the senior to keep their cell phone fully charged when a weather event is in the forecast, and have a family communication plan so everyone knows how to reach each other.
Finally, remember that communicating in a calm and confident manner will reassure them and help you focus on the situation without overreacting. Being prepared in advance with a plan and supplies provides peace of mind in the rush of the moment.
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at (203) 258-2640 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to assist!