It’s human nature to push thoughts of emergency situations to the far reaches of our minds. After all, it seems like most disasters happen in faraway places and only become visible to us on the news. Right? But, what if a disaster were to strike close to home, and in particular, to affect the seniors you know and love? Would they (and you) be prepared for an emergency situation?
In honor of National Preparedness Month in September, the Red Cross urges you to take the following precautions to ensure that senior loved ones are as safe as possible:
- Make sure that you have a support network in place for senior loved one. This should include people in the local area such as trusted neighbors, friends, fellow congregants from church, or nearby family members. Designate one specific contact to check in with the senior immediately after a disaster to assess the situation.
- Make sure that those in the support network have copies of the senior’s important keys, security codes, and/or garage door openers so that that access to the senior’s home environment is immediately available.
- Keep an emergency supply kit stocked and in an easily accessible area. The CDC recommends the following:
- Nonperishable foods that are easy to prepare, and plenty of bottled water
- Manual can opener
- Flashlight and extra, fresh batteries
- Radio powered by batteries or by hand crank
- Cell phone and charger
- First aid kit, including a blanket and personal care items
- A week’s supply of medications, along with paperwork related to medical conditions
- List of contact information for family and emergency services
- Have an emergency evacuation plan in place, and practice it several times. Adult learners require information to be repeated five times before it is fully remembered.
- Be sure that everyone who is in the senior’s support network is aware of each other’s travel plans – when someone is out of town and when to expect their return.
Staying informed is the best way to be prepared for a disaster. Make a point of staying abreast of news through a variety of venues: TV, the Internet, newspapers, radio, etc. The local Emergency Management office in your area will share information on mandatory evacuations and shelters that are available. For more emergency resources, visit the CDC’s Emergency Preparedness and Response website, which offers details on putting together emergency kits, having a plan in place, and staying informed on a full range of potential disasters: disease outbreaks, weather emergencies, bioterrorism, and much more.
At Nightingale Homecare, our Arizona caregivers are poised and ready to assist the seniors in our care in the event of any type of emergency. Partner with us to keep your senior loved ones safe, in both times of normalcy and times of disaster, with our professional Phoenix senior care services. Call us at 602-504-1555 to learn more.