In the Blink of An Eye
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 learnings from those experiences will aid you and others in any future events. Seniors, in particular, have a wealth of knowledge to pull from.
The Red Cross delivered more food, relief items, and shelter stays in 2017 than in the last four years combined.
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 can follow – together with family caregivers – to prepare for natural disasters.
Disaster Preparedness Tips
- 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 alert notifications available in your community.
- Create a supply kit that includes the following:
- Water for drinking and sanitation (1 gallon per person, per day – for at least 3 days)
- Non-perishable food (3-day supply)
- Medications (to last at least 7 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
- 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 that you can reference them at any time.
- Check out http://211.ca/ This is a nation-wide resource that connects millions of people to services for a number of situations, including emergencies and disaster situations.
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
Helping seniors and other adults feel safe and comfortable in their homes is what we prioritize at Comfort Keepers®, and part of that includes helping them feel prepared for any crises that may arise. Our caregivers can go through the above tips to ensure clients have what they need to safeguard against natural disasters. Contact your local Comfort Keepers office to learn more about how we can help maintain safety, comfort, and happiness in the home.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Healthy Aging Program. “Disaster Planning Tips for Older
Adults and their Families.” Web. 2018.
Red Cross. “Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors.” Web. 2018.
Ready.gov. “Seniors.” Web. 2018.