After the back-to-back disasters of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, it’s important that seniors and family caregivers alike understand the need for natural disaster preparedness. No matter where you live, it’s important to plan ahead for weather-related hazards. No one is more vulnerable during these emergencies than seniors, and a quick response is crucial to ensure the safety and security of elderly adults. How Family Caregivers Can Plan for Natural Disasters
When creating a natural disaster response plan, family caregivers and seniors should keep the following guidelines in mind.
Learn About Community Preparedness
Your loved one’s community will have resources in place to help residents plan for and respond to natural disasters. Family caregivers and seniors should know how the community will communicate with residents during a disaster. If the community has publicly available disaster response plan, this can help you plan and prepare for how to react.
Research & Plan for Different Disasters
When family caregivers and seniors create a natural disaster response plan, it’s important to learn about, plan, and prepare for all possible risks. Learn about all the different weather hazards faced by your area, and make sure you’re ready for any disaster your community could be vulnerable to.
Create Response & Evacuation Plans
When disaster hits, whether or not you need to evacuate will depend on the type of disaster and how severely it impacts your area. It’s important that you have a plan for evacuation and for staying in place. If you will be evacuating, develop a plan — and a backup plan — that takes into about the local challenges you’re likely to face in an evacuation. If the elderly person needs to stay in place, it’s important that you plan for what they need with them and who they need with them.
Make an Emergency Supply Kit
Family caregivers and seniors should compile a full list of emergency supplies that will be needed in the event of any disaster, whether the senior is staying in place or evacuating. This kit will include things like a supply of water and food, any needed medications, a complete first aid kit, a flash light, sanitation and hygiene items, warm clothing, blankets, a map, important personal documents, and emergency contact information. As it is likely that the family caregiver or another family member will be with the senior during an emergency, make sure that the emergency supplies cover the needs of both people.
Build a Personal Support Network
Seniors shouldn’t rely on only their family caregiver in case of an emergency. It’s important to build a personal support network of at least three people who will check in on the senior during an emergency. Within this network, everyone should know how to get in touch with one another, and communication plans should be in place in the event that phone and/or internet service becomes unavailable.
At Visiting Angels, our caregivers often play a key role in these support networks. When it is safe to do so, caregivers can check in on clients, monitoring their well-being, and providing assistance. In cases where seniors are separated from children and other family by long distances, a professional caregiver can often play a crucial role during an emergency.
If you’re concerned about your ability to care for a loved one in the event of an emergency, we invite you to contact your local Visiting Angels or call 800-365-4189 to learn more about our caregiver services.
How Family Caregivers Can Plan for Natural Disasters
How Family Caregivers Can Plan for Natural Disasters How Family Caregivers Can Plan for Natural Disasters How Family Caregivers Can Plan for Natural Disasters How Family Caregivers Can Plan for Natural Disasters How Family Caregivers Can Plan for Natural Disasters
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