Emergency Preparedness for Caregivers and Seniors

If there's one lesson we've learned from past hurricane seasons, it's that there's no stopping Mother Nature. Each area of the country has their season to be prepared. Winter blizzards in the Northeast, tornadoes in the Mid-West, earthquakes and fires in the West. Despite mother nature, all families should discuss and have an emergency plan.

In Case of a Sudden Emergency

Fire or earthquake and other natural disasters can happen with little or no warning. In these cases, careful preparation is important because every second counts:

  • Check the battery in your loved one's smoke alarm once a year, and install alarms with flashing lights for seniors who are hearing impaired.
  • Develop and practice a simple evacuation plan with your loved one.
  • Pack a bag with the following items:
  • Change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes
  • Extra set of keys, spare glasses, hearing aid batteries, a week's supply of medications, and copies of prescriptions
  • Cash, credit cards, change for pay phones
  • Personal hygiene supplies
  • Phone numbers of relatives, friends, and physicians.

Prepare to Stay

In many emergencies, it may be impossible for your loved one to leave home or for rescuers to arrive promptly. In these cases, it's important to have supplies on hand. Your loved one's emergency kit should include:

  • Three days' supply of bottled water (one gallon of water per person a day) in small, easily opened bottles; replace the water every six months.
  • Nonperishable foods. Choose foods that are easy to store and carry, nutritious, and ready-to-eat; don't forget to include a manual can opener.
  • Several flashlights with replacement batteries.
  • One week's supply of medications with instructions for their use.
  • A battery-operated radio.
  • A whistle or large bell to attract attention.
  • Extra blankets.
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, personal hygiene supplies.