Be prepared. That’s been the Boy Scout motto since 1907. But it’s not just an adage for young Scouts to follow; it’s great advice for us all. Preparation helps us stay calmer and safer in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. When you’re caring for an older loved one, being prepared can literally help you save lives.
Extreme weather incidents are becoming more and more prevalent. Severe cold or hot weather, powerful thunderstorms, monsoons, flooding, tornados, and even sand storms are things that we all have to live with from time to time here in Arizona. These weather events can lead to power outages or damage to the home, and older adults may have to be displaced temporarily as a result. This vulnerability is why it is essential to be prepared for whatever may happen.
A Disaster Planning Checklist
As weather heats up for summer, it’s a good time to get ready for emergency situations should they arise. Use this disaster planning checklist to help you gather the supplies you need:
- Drinking water. It is recommended to have one gallon per person for several days
- A several-day supply of non-perishable food
- Manual can opener
- A battery- or hand crank-powered radio
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- N95 masks
- A whistle for signaling for help
- Moist towelettes, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes
- Garbage bags
- Paper maps of your local area
- Cell phone with back up battery or auxiliary chargers
- Pet food and extra water for any pets in the home
- At least a 3-day supply of prescription medications. If medications need to be kept cold, make sure you have a cooler and ice packs available as well.
- Fire extinguisher
- Copies of important documents, such as photo IDs, insurance and medical cards, etc.
Create an Emergency Plan
Having an emergency plan in place is key as well. Depending on the situation, it might be safest to shelter in place, or evacuation may be necessary. Your plan should detail how to safely ride out the disaster at home, as well as evacuation protocol, including evacuation routes near the home, and the location of your disaster prep kit. Write down your plans and share them with your support network — nearby family, friends, neighbors, etc. This way, even if you are not there with the senior at the time of an emergency, someone nearby will know how to help.
For families in Maricopa County, the Maricopa Community Preparedness app can help you assess how prepared you are for emergencies, as well as complete the necessary tasks to prepare. It also allows you to create a personalized disaster planning checklist, get information to help you prepare for impending disasters, receive emergency alerts, and more. Download it today to get an extra measure of protection for you and your loved ones.
For family members who live at a distance from their senior loved ones, ensuring that they will be well cared for in the event of an emergency or natural disaster is so important. Partnering with a professional in-home care agency, like Nightingale Homecare can give you peace of mind in knowing that someone will always be there for your loved ones. Our care team is dedicated to safety no matter what the circumstances, and we have plans in place to ensure that our clients receive the care they need each and every day, rain or shine. Contact us today at 602-926-1157 or reach out to us online to find out more about how our home health care services can help your loved one stay safe and support wellness at home.