Preparing Your Senior For A Natural Disaster
Particular areas of the country are faced with natural disasters more than others; for example coastal regions of are more likely to be struck by hurricanes than other areas of the country while others are prone to heat waves, floods, tornados or snow storms. Regardless of the threat, it’s best to make certain your aging loved one is prepared in the event of an emergency.
The best way to prepare for an emergency is to have an emergency kit ready, pay attention to news reports and have an evacuation plan in place. Seniors face a host of issues that caregivers may not have considered when a natural disaster strikes. Caregivers need to prepare by considering the following:
- What will happen to the aging relative in the event of an evacuation?
- Is there transportation available? How will you know where to find them when the disaster has passed?
- Is their home safe and the pantry well stocked in the event the caregiver cannot get to them to deliver food and supplies?
- Are there contingency plans, such as a back-up generator in place, in case your aging relative is trapped in the house and is without running water or power for any length of time?
Chances are, if your aging relative has lived in the same location for any length of time, they are aware of the need for preplanning and preparation in the event of a natural disaster. As they age though, their care needs change and this needs to be addressed.
Every home should have a disaster preparedness kit stocked with essentials to last a minimum of seven days. This kit includes:
- One gallon of water per person per day
- Non perishable foods and juices
- Manual can openers
- Battery-operated radio
- Flashlights with working batteries
- Other items such as additional blankets, books or other items to pass the time if there is no electricity
- Essential medications
- If there are pets in the household, make certain you have a supply of pet food packed as well as the animal’s medical records
Keep the items in your emergency preparedness kit in an airtight bag or container in a closet by the door. In the event of an evacuation, your aging parent will be more comfortable if they have some familiar items.
In addition to having an emergency kit available, one of the best ways to care for an aging relative in the event of an emergency is to have a network of friends, family or neighbors available who can check in on them. Contingency plans should be in place and emergency contact telephone numbers should be put in the emergency kit because it is hard to remember phone numbers in a time of crisis.
Being prepared for an emergency by listening to news and weather reports and communicating with family is one of the best ways to make certain that when disaster strikes, your aging loved one will be as safe as possible under the circumstances.