We often underestimate the volatility of Mother Nature, forgetting that our possessions, our homes, and even those we love can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye because of a tornado, hurricane, wildfire, flood, or any number of other natural disasters.
Of course, we’ve gotten smarter and more sophisticated with the way these catastrophic events are forecasted and handled. Local officials have detailed plans for evacuations, and relief teams are at the ready to help however possible.
Experience also counts for a lot. Think of how many disasters you’ve witnessed up to this point, and how the lessons from those experiences will aid you and others in any future events. Seniors, in particular, have a wealth of knowledge to pull from.
Despite this knowledge and expertise, seniors are often those most vulnerable during natural disasters because of chronic health conditions or diminished hearing and vision. Even those in excellent health may just not be as agile as they once were.
Fortunately, age-related limitations don’t have to stop seniors from being able to handle whatever Mother Nature throws their way. Below are some helpful tips that senior clients — together with family caregivers — can use to prepare for natural disasters.
Disaster preparedness tips
1. Become and stay informed.
• Study up on which natural disasters are likely to affect your area.
• Learn your community’s established response and evacuation plans.
• Sign up for text or email alerts available in your community.
2. Create a supply kit that includes the following:
• Water for drinking and sanitation (1 gallon per person, per day, for at least three days).
• Non-perishable food (three-day supply).
• Medications (to last at least seven days).
• First aid kit and manual.
• Personal documents (ID, birth certificate, deed to home, medication list that includes dosages, etc.).
• Manual can opener.
• Tools (screwdriver, wrench, pliers, etc.).
• Emergency blankets.
• Personal hygiene items.
• Change of clothes.
• Cell phone and extra chargers.
• Flashlights and extra batteries.
• Battery-operated or hand crank radio.
3. Put a plan in place
• Determine who your emergency contacts are, and ensure that they know of community plans.
• Double check that you have a thorough list of family contacts, not only in your phone but also written down.
• Make an assessment of your home, and determine the best escape routes, considering specific factors such as limited mobility.
• Write down all plans so you can reference them at any time.
• Check out www.211.org, a nation-wide resource that connects millions of people to services for a number of situations, including emergencies and disaster situations.
Helping seniors and other adults feel safe and comfortable in their homes is a priority at Comfort Keepers®. Part of that includes helping them feel prepared for any crises that may arise. Caregivers can go through the above tips to ensure that clients have what they need to safeguard against natural disasters. Contact Comfort Keepers to learn more help that can maintain safety, comfort, and happiness in the home.