A Guide to Prepping Your Loved One for Natural Disasters
Weather-related events are scary for people of all ages, but especially the elderly, who may lack mobility or have complex medical issues. It’s not a simple task for seniors to prep before a storm or earthquake, nor is it easy for them to recover afterwards. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help keep your aging relative safe in the event of a natural disaster.
How to Plan Ahead
For seniors in the San Luis Obispo area, earthquakes and wildfires are two of the major weather-related concerns. Extreme heat waves and flooding can also occur from time to time. Any of these events can lead to power outages, forced evacuations, or other stressful scenarios. Here are some tips for helping your aging loved one plan ahead before extreme weather.
Take Their Medical Needs into Account
Talk with your senior relative’s doctor about their prescriptions, medical devices, and other health-related concerns in the event of a natural disaster. Formulating a plan will give both you and your loved one peace of mind.
If your family member utilizes medical equipment, have it prepped and ready to go. Items such as motorized scooters should have a backup power supply or alternative option, like a manual wheelchair.
A natural disaster is particularly upsetting and confusing for individuals with dementia. Comfort items should be on hand for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive conditions. In any extreme event, make sure your loved one with dementia is being closely monitored for wandering.
Stock an Emergency Kit
Help your relative prep an emergency kit with essentials. A good rule of thumb is to include enough supplies to get them through 3-7 days after a natural disaster strikes.
The kit should include:
- Non-perishable food items
- A manual can opener
- Several gallons of water
- A first aid kit
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Extra eyeglasses
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- A warm blanket
- Battery operated fan
- Cell phone, charger, and back-up battery packs
- Important documents, such as their birth certificate, insurance info, and social security card, in a water and fire-proof container
Have a Support System in Place
If possible, become familiar with your relative’s neighbors, and make them aware that your loved one will need extra help during inclement weather, especially if they live alone. You and these other individuals can work together to monitor weather forecasts and help make the call if your relative needs to evacuate their home.
Create a list of resources that’s available for your loved one in case of emergency, particularly if you live far away from them. The list should include things like contact info for neighbors and friends, their physician’s office, any organizations pertaining to their illness, and the FEMA and Red Cross helplines.
Visiting Angels San Luis Obispo is also here to support your family member. Our experienced care providers are trained to handle emergency situations. In addition to the non-medical home care services we offer, we can also help your loved one prepare supplies, keep a close eye on them to prevent wandering, and attend to their physical and emotional needs during extreme weather events. To learn more about services with Visiting Angels San Luis Obispo, contact us or give us a call at 805-546-2080.