Emergency Preparation Plans for CAREGivers


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Here at Home Instead, we like to think of our CAREGivers as people who know just what to do in certain client situations: How to properly assist a client who has fallen, what to do if your client with Alzheimer's doesn't recognize you and forces you out of their home, etc. But what do we do in case of a natural disaster: fires, floods, earthquakes and other violent acts of nature?

When it comes to handling yourself and your clients in an emergency, please follow the following protocols. As always, please call the office if you have any questions. Often in an emergency, phones may not work, or they will be busy.  Text messages will often work more effectively when the phone lines are busy.  Call and/or text through clearcare.

  • Stay calm: Make sure you stay alert and focus on your breathing. Your main priority is to make sure both you and your client are safe.
  • Turn on a radio: Listings of available shelters and evacuation instructions will be aired for broadcast.
  • Call the office immediately. We can call your client's family and emergency contacts if you are unable to do so.
  • Comfort and communicate. Talk to your client until help arrives. It is recommended to keep the person going through a traumatic event by talking to him/her, but not encouraging him/her to talk. Take slow, deep breaths to help you both stay calm.
  • If you are able to keep your client at home safely, please do so. If you are asked to leave your client's home due to evacuation, please get yourself and your client safely out of harm's way. Call the office ASAP to let us know where you and your client are going. You should not leave the client until they are with a family member OR they are in a safe environment like a Red Cross Shelter.
  • If time allows, also:
    • Secure their home by closing and locking doors and windows.
    • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your client's home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
    • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
    • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
  • DO NOT ABANDON YOUR CLIENT! We understand that in emergencies, all of us automatically think of our own loved ones. However, your first priority in a crisis is to make sure your client is safe and out of harm's way. All CAREGivers are required to stay on duty until the client is either safely returned home or in their loved ones' care.

For a caregiver, an emergency can be both alarming and frightening, but when you are prepared, you can make a tremendous difference in your client’s well-being.

For more information on what to do in an emergency, please visit the following websites for more information:

https://www.ready.gov/evacuating-yourself-and-your-family
https://www.sbcounty.gov/Uploads/SBCFire/content/oes/pdf/FamilyDisasterPlan.pdf
https://www.wikihow.com/Handle-an-Emergency-Situation


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