Disaster Preparedness for Seniors


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Today is Patriot Day, a day to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, eleven years ago. We remember in a special way the firefighters and rescue personnel who lost their lives fighting to save  hundreds on that fateful day.

As we pause to reflect on this day, it is a good reminder for all of us that we need to be prepared for a disaster. If you care for an aging parent or relative, we have some tips to help you prepare your senior for a dangerous situation:

Home Instead Senior Care's Disaster Prep Checklist For Seniors:

____Tune in.  Contact the local emergency management office to learn about the most likely natural disasters to strike your area.  Stay abreast of what’s going on through your local radio or television.

____Take stock.  Decide what your senior can or can’t do in the event of a natural disaster.  Make a list of what would be needed if a disaster occurred.  For example, if your loved one is wheelchair-bound, determine an evacuation strategy ahead of time. Prepare for whatever disaster could hit the area.

____ To go or to stay?  When deciding to evacuate, older adults should go sooner rather than later.  By waiting too long, they may be unable to leave if they require assistance.

____ Make a plan.  Schedule a family meeting to develop a plan of action.  Include in your plan key people – such as neighbors, friends, relatives and professional caregivers – who could help.

____More than one way out.  Seniors should develop at least two escape routes: one to evacuate their home and one to evacuate their community.  The local emergency management office can tell you escape routes out of the community.

____Meet up.  Designate a place to meet relatives or key support network people outside the house, as well as a second location outside the neighborhood, such as a school or church.  Practice the plan twice a year.

____Get up and “Go Kit.”  Have an easy-to-carry backpack including three days non-perishable food and water with an additional four days of food and water readily accessible at home.  Have at least one gallon of bottled water per person per day.  Refresh and replace your supplies at least twice a year.  And don’t forget the blanket and paper products such as toilet paper.

____Pack extras and copies.  Have at least a one-month supply of medication on hand at all times.  Make ready other important documents in a waterproof protector including copies of prescriptions, car title registration and driver’s license, insurance documents and bank account numbers, and spare checkbook.

Contact our office for more information on you can help keep your senior loved one safe.

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