Natural disasters — anything from tornados to flash floods — can occur at any time without notice, causing damage to property and leading to loss of life. Older adults often bear the brunt of these natural calamities due to their frailty and advanced years. It’s easy to see that seniors need more help planning and dealing with these emergencies accordingly. For these reasons, disaster preparation for seniors becomes a matter of priority for families living in disaster-prone areas.
Florida, in particular, is renowned for a high occurrence of hurricanes and tropical storms. If you have an elderly loved one living in this area, you should be aware of the potential disasters. Fortunately, technology has made it possible to predict the occurrence of these catastrophes. With the right information, emergency preparedness for seniors becomes much easier.
Below are a few steps you can take to prepare your elderly loved one for any looming disaster:
1. Assess the Potential Threats in Your Area
Learning about the potential threats in your area is the first step in disaster planning for older adults. This will help you prepare and plan before natural calamities — like hurricanes, tornados, flooding and tropical storms — occur.
2. Locate the Public Emergency Center in Your Area
It’s important to know about your community’s response and evacuation plans. Depending on the type of emergency, local authorities often set up an evacuation center to handle relief services and emergency response. You can gather insights about the public emergency center in your area through the local radio or TV stations.
3. Establish a Support Network for Seniors
Senior citizens are advised to establish a support network of individuals tasked to check in on each other during emergencies. This support network should include family members, close friends, personal caregivers, neighbors and even doctors. You’re also encouraged to create a communication plan that ensures you keep in touch with the members of your network during emergencies.
4. Put Together an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit is a vital part of disaster preparation for seniors. The kit should consist of various supplies ranging from clean drinking water to medications that can last for at least three days without running out. Other important items that should be included in the kit are:
- Cordless radio
- First aid kit
- Important documents
- Pet food
- Warm clothing
5. Make Plans for Pets and Service Animals
Pets and service animals shouldn’t be left behind during emergency preparations. Make sure all your pets have an up-to-date identification tag, and all vaccination papers are in order. Find out in advance if the emergency shelters in your area accept pets, so you can make arrangements for alternatives early.
Contact Active Home Care Today
If you’re worried about the safety of your elderly loved one in the face of a natural disaster, contact Active Home Care. We offer live-in and other homecare referral services in the Miami area to ensure that your loved one will never have to be alone when emergencies happen. For more information about our homecare services and to learn about our Florida office serving Aventura, North Miami, Coral Gables or Miami Beach, call Active Home Care today.