Planning ahead is vital for senior citizens who are dealing with emergencies or natural disasters. For seniors and their caregivers, it is always a good idea to be aware of the more common disasters in your area. When you know the type of disaster your loved one is likely to face, it is much easier to come up with a survival plan.
There are four designated phases of emergency management.
Each phase is crucial and leads into the next. The following tips will help to assist seniors and senior caregivers to take care of themselves should a disaster ever arise.
Understand What Can Happen in Your Local Area
It only takes a few moments to research the most common disasters that occur where seniors live. There are an overwhelming number of possible disasters and emergencies, so if that list can be narrowed down by geography, it is much easier to prepare. The following list of potential hazards will help seniors and caregivers with preparation:
- Severe Weather Disasters
- Medical Emergencies
- Loss of Power
Caregivers and seniors need to be aware of the notification systems that are available in the area. Are there any local outdoor warning sirens that are easily audible? Do local TV and radio stations broadcast warnings when there are local dangers within the community? Can seniors listen for and follow emergency instructions when they are given? If there are any potential problems with seniors who cannot be properly notified of danger, caregivers should take steps to fix the problem. The earlier seniors can be warned of impending danger, the faster they can reach safety.
Make a Plan and Checklist
If seniors have special circumstances, such as the inability to walk without assistance, they will undoubtedly need help getting out of their homes. Determine at least three people who can help seniors when they need it. It is usually a good idea for at least one, if not all three, of these trusted people to carry a spare key for the senior’s home.
When it comes to evacuation of the home, seniors and caregivers must know the emergency exit plan. Designate emergency exits within the home, and then come up with two locations for everyone to meet once out of the home. Seniors should also choose one contact who lives out of town, then let them know once they have reached safety.
Here are some useful Tips:
- Post emergency numbers by the phone.
- Have your checks direct deposited so your money is accessible.
- Test your plan.
- Create a checklist
- Know your home’s “safe places” or shelter areas.
- Know an escape route.
- Know how to operate utilities.
- Check your insurance coverage.
- Have a contact list of family, friends and neighbors readily available.
- Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on an annual basis.