When a hurricane threatens, the elderly population may be at additional risk, according to a FEMA press release.
They face many more obstacles than most people in an emergency: isolation, limited mobility, and medical needs. Older adults can lower their risk by preparing for hurricanes and other emergencies before they happen.
Make a list of people who can help
- You can rely on a single relative as your primary caregiver. However, emergencies can arise at any time and your usual caregiver may not be with you. It’s important to have a list of people to call.
- Create a contact chain. Assign who will contact whom in an emergency. Ask family, friends and neighbors. Don’t leave everything to one person because if they get hurt or incapacitated you can be stuck. Keep your helper list in your emergency kit.
- If you are finding it difficult to get around on your own, you may need someone to help you get to your emergency shelter or evacuate. Find out in time who will help you.
- There are many communication apps for smartphones. Pick one or two, then ask family and friends on your emergency contact list to download the same apps. They can be used to communicate when phone services are down.
Make sure your medical information is available
If you are suffering from an illness, you can choose to wear a medical alert bracelet or pendant. This could save your life especially if you are diabetic or allergic to certain medicines etc. Any of the medical alert jewelry available today can help first responders treat you properly in the event you are unable to give or share your medical history with them.
Things to take with you when you leave your home
List: Before an emergency occurs, make a list of everything you need to stay healthy. Include the name and contact information of your doctor and pharmacy, a list of your medications, and any medical equipment you use. Then let the people on your contact list know where the list is in case they need it.
kit: You need a kit with all the items you need to survive at least 72 hours. A comprehensive list is available at www.ready.gov. The American Red Cross can also help you with information on recommended items.
Cash: The rule of thumb is to have at least enough cash to support yourself for 30 days. Make sure you have at least some cash in small bills and some coins in case you need it.
Everyone can take steps to prepare for the types of emergencies that are most likely where they live. In Louisiana, these include hurricanes and river floods, but also flash floods, fires, and more.
Sometimes the danger is known well in advance, and you have time to prepare, the press release said. In other cases, you need to react quickly. Always follow the instructions of local officials when deciding whether to evacuate. Know who will help before you need it.