Hurricane season begins on June 1st and goes through November 30th. For Florida citizens, this might not seem like such a significant threat, but to the seniors in your community, it can be. When a storm threatens to make landfall, long lines and dwindling store shelves can make preparation a significant challenge. To best prepare seniors for the hurricane season, get started early with compiling supplies and planning.
Ways to Prepare Seniors for Hurricane Season
In order for families to stay well prepared for a hurricane, there are some precautions they must take. For seniors, it may be harder to prepare for a hurricane due to physical restraints or illnesses. Here are a few ways to help prepare seniors for a hurricane:
- Pay attention to the news. – Make sure you or your loved one are aware of any possible hurricane watch or hurricane warnings by staying up to date with the latest news.
- Plan for shelter. – If you or your loved one has certain needs that require physical attention, it may be best to stay with family or in a service shelter that can attend to your medical needs. However, if you plan to stay home, be sure that you are well prepared and establish a “safe room” with no windows in case the storm picks up.
- Secure windows and doors. – Assist your loved one in securing their windows and doors by installing boards or hurricane shutters prior to the hurricane. Once government officials have issued a hurricane warning, be sure to assist seniors in closing their shutters.
- Take photos of their property. – In the case that the hurricane becomes disastrous, it is always recommended to take photos of your loved one’s property prior to the hurricane and again after the hurricane has passed for any possible insurance claims.
- Prepare your pet. – If your loved one has a pet and they are in an evacuation zone, be sure to keep all important pet records such as copies of vaccinations, ownership papers, and a photo of the pet in a plastic or waterproof folder along with your contact information. Remember to keep your pet in a carrier when traveling and talk to them calmly as they might be stressed due to the storm.
- Stay connected to your family/friends. – As a senior who might be living at home alone, it is always best to stay in touch with your family during a hurricane. Let your family or friends know what your plan is and make sure they are able to reach you and know your location in case of emergencies.
- Check their disaster kit. – If your loved one has already prepared a first aid kit, make sure there are no expired medications, all flashlights are ready to use and have extra batteries, essential documents (i.e., insurance information) are securely packed, they have plenty of non-perishable food and water, and they have extra clean clothes.
Recommended Hurricane Supplies
Another way to prepare seniors for a hurricane season is to provide them with the necessary materials. Courtesy of FPL’s Storm Guide for Seniors, here are some supplies that seniors will need during a hurricane:
- A one-month supply of all essential medications. Speak to your doctor at the first sign of a possible hurricane warning.
- Have an extra set of prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, and hearing aid batteries.
- Gather non-perishable foods (e.g., canned vegetables, canned fruits, crackers) to last a week.
- Stock up on water, whether it is water bottles from the grocery store or gallons from home.
- Buy personal hygiene items such as extra toilet paper, paper towels, adult diapers, soap, or toothpaste.
- Keep a first aid kit available in case of an emergency.
- Store important documents such as insurance papers, a list of medications, emergency contacts, Medicare cards, or birth certificates in a waterproof bag or case.
- Use a waterproof container for matches.
- Store away an extra set of clothes and shoes.
- Keep extra batteries around.
- Store flashlights in common areas, if possible.
We hope that everyone remains safe this hurricane season. At 24/7 Nursing Care, we have your best interest at heart. If you or someone you know are unable or uncomfortable with evacuating their home, let us care for you. We offer a variety of in-home nursing care services that can be tailored to your loved one’s needs. Contact us today by calling Miami-Dade (786) 518-3622 or Broward (954) 949-1332.