Keeping Seniors Safe Before and After a Hurricane
The east coast of the United States is well into hurricane season. As a caregiver to your older family member, you take the safety of your loved one seriously. If they live in hurricane territory, it’s important that they take steps to stay safe both before and after a hurricane. Below are some tips for caregivers to use to ensure their older family member remains safe throughout hurricane season.
Stay Informed About the Storm
Make certain the older adult has multiple ways to get the information they need about the storm. While the television and computer can offer thorough, up to date information, they won’t work if the electricity goes out or the Internet goes down. Caregivers can remedy this issue by getting the senior a battery-operated radio or weather radio that will provide information throughout the storm.
Create an Emergency Kit
Seniors need to have an emergency kit prepared ahead of a storm. The kit should include all the supplies they will need for a minimum of one week. Caregivers can get a complete list of items that should be in the kit by visiting the FEMA website. Some of the items they will need are:
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- Emergency contact list.
- First aid kit.
- Copies of important documents in a sealed plastic bag.
- Prepare for Pets
If your older family member has a pet, make sure arrangements are made for its care as well. Don’t risk the senior doing something that isn’t safe or staying in their home when they should evacuate because of their pet. Caregivers should help them to find someone who can care for the pet during the storm or at least ensure that the senior has everything they will need to take care of the pet until the storm passes.
Create a Communication Plan
Pick a family caregiver or other person who lives in a different town from the older adult that they can call with updates or after the storm. Sometimes it is easier to make long-distance calls after a hurricane than it is to make local calls since lines may be down or overloaded.
Know Where Emergency Shelters Are
Find out about the emergency shelters available in the older adult’s area in case they need to leave their home. Also, learn how their community handles evacuation and be prepared to get the senior out if needed. Caregivers who do not live near the older adult should arrange for a neighbor to help the senior to evacuate.