As hurricane season is upon us, those of us in coastal areas have an obligation to prepare for the worst ahead of time. This means ensuring that our property and our loved ones are secured, or plans are in place to get everyone to safety at a moment’s notice. When you are a caregiver, and your responsibility is to ensure the safety of not just yourself, but someone who may need special assistance, preparation should be a top priority.
Here are five tips for creating your caregiver hurricane preparedness plan:
Prepare Your Emergency Kit
It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit ready to go at any time. A natural disaster can happen at any point during the year, but the likelihood of a major storm increases significantly during the summer and fall months. The goal of an emergency kit is to have all the essentials that you would need ready to go, because in the commotion of storm preparedness, you don’t want to forget something important.
Your kit may include:
- Sanitary and hygiene items
- Extra under garments
- Battery or solar-powered AM/FM radio
- Phone chargers
- Copies of all important legal and medical documents
- Non-perishable food items and
- Bottles of water.
Compile an Emergency Contact List
Your emergency contact list should also be a part of your caregiver hurricane preparedness plan, but multiple copies can be distributed to family or close friends or neighbors in the event that you cannot be reached. Your emergency contact list should have all of the relevant contact information, such as cell and home phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses, of anyone who is close to your loved one. This may include friends, family, doctors, pharmacies, and any emergency care facilities.
Learn Evacuation Routes
If you are in an evacuation zone, familiarize yourself with all evacuation routes prior to a storm approaching. As the community prepares for the arrival of a hurricane, roads may become packed with cars trying to flee the area. It’s a good idea to get out ahead of time, especially if you are caring for someone else.
Speaking of evacuation, the sooner you have a plan for where you and your family can stay when you leave your home the better, as it can relieve a lot of the planning stress as a storm approaches. Create a list of possible evacuation locations and include it in your caregiver hurricane preparedness plan.
Secure Your Home
Prior to the threat of a storm, make sure that all shutters for your home are in working condition. As the season progresses, obtaining new shutters or even assistance with assembly may become more difficult as supplies become limited. It’s best to check the condition of your home before the panic of an oncoming storm. If you plan on staying put throughout a storm, you’ll want to ensure the safety of the home and your loved ones who will be inside of it before all resources become scarce.
Coordinate Backups for Medical Needs
If your loved one has special needs when it comes to medications or medical devices, ensure that you have backups ready. This may require purchasing an extra device, or checking with the pharmacy or hospital to make sure they will have one in the event of a disaster. It might be a good idea to invest in a generator if your loved one needs devices that require power, as strong winds may knock out electricity for days following the storm. Again, it’s a good idea to purchase a generator before the frenzy of storm season, as stores will sell out quickly at the first sign of an impending hurricane.
As a caregiver, you know the importance of being prepared at all times. Caregiving can often be just as unpredictable as the summer storm season. It’s always comforting to know that there are people and resources here to support you in your caregiving journey. At 24/7 Nursing Care, we offer companion and nursing care for the short term or long term, depending on your needs. Contact us to learn about the different ways that we can assist you with your loved one during storm season and throughout the year.