Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness for Seniors
Planning for emergencies, like a hurricane is an important thing to do for anyone, but is especially crucial when involving seniors. In many cases, it may take longer for seniors needing to evacuate or respond to an emergency and they may not be equipped to do so without assistance. Having a set plan that all parties (seniors, children, caregivers, etc.) can refer to is not only helpful, it can save a life.
If your senior loved one lives alone, here are some tips to help make sure they are prepared for a hurricane or other emergency:
1) Have an Elder/Caregiver Resource Guide or other document that includes all of one’s information in one place, such as their: health, medical and legal information, and the contact information of family members and close friends. This way, they can quickly access any of this information during an emergency and have it with them if evacuation is needed.
2) Keep a supply of items they might need, such as liquids, disposable adult diapers, and cash somewhere readily accessible in case of emergency.
3) Make sure identification is on their person, especially if the individual is easily confused.
Questions for senior loved ones living in a senior living community:
If you have a parent or relative who lives in a senior assisted or independent living community or is looking into one, there are a few items you should be sure to ask them/make sure you have information about when it comes to hurricane and emergency preparedness. Asking these simple questions below can play an important role in the safety of your senior loved one.
1) Is the community prepared with a hurricane or emergency plan in case one occurs?
2) Are there any fees associated with evacuation or other necessary course of action during a hurricane and/or other emergency?
3) Can families or pets evacuate with loved ones?
4) Where is the evacuation site located and what will be provided for the residents when they arrive (items such as: toiletries, bedding, etc.)?
To keep your elder loved ones safe this hurricane season, have a conversation with them to make sure they are prepared in case such an emergency does occur.