Tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes, as well as other natural disasters, occur quickly, and while it is crucial for all of us to have an emergency plan ready to go, it is especially important for the elderly, who may be challenged with mobility or chronic health concerns. Because September is National Preparedness Month, it’s the ideal opportunity to make sure the seniors you care about are equipped with an emergency action plan and prepared for a potential disaster. Taking these three steps is an excellent place to start.
- Develop an emergency plan. This should consist of designating a primary person (or multiple people) who will be responsible for checking up on the older adult during an emergency, and who will then communicate that information to the senior’s loved ones. Put together a list of contact information for each individual who should be informed, and also make sure each person has a copy of the list. The plan should likewise describe an evacuation process, and who will help the senior with evacuating the property if needed.
- Create a disaster supply kit. The CDC recommends the items below be stored together in an easily-accessible location to be utilized in the event of a crisis:
- Water, nonperishable food items (including pet food if applicable), and medications to last for at least three days
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Manual can opener
- Hand-crank or battery-powered radio
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Change of clothing
- Wet wipes, paper towels, and hand sanitizer
- Duplicates of important paperwork in a waterproof container (see below)
- Fire extinguisher
- Assemble important records. In an emergency, the very last thing you’ll want to do is scramble to locate necessary paperwork. Place copies of the following paperwork in a waterproof box or bag:
- Information in relation to medical needs and history, medications taken, healthcare providers, etc. (the CDC has provided this simple template)
- Insurance cards and photo ID
- Will, living will, power of attorney, etc.
- Listing of any food and/or medication allergies
- Contact details for family members and friends who ought to be alerted during an emergency
Working with an experienced home care agency, like Grace Home Care, providers of the memory care Topeka families trust, is an excellent way to ensure the elderly will be well taken care of in case of a natural disaster or other emergency. We’re prepared and proactive, with a plan in place for providing the care needed for seniors every day of the year, rain or shine, keeping family members up to date about any and all concerns at all times.
Connect with our team of in-home care professionals for additional tips and resources, and to arrange for a free of charge consultation in the familiarity of home. For more information about how we can help the older adults you love remain healthy, secure, and thriving, contact us any time at 785-286-2273.