Disaster Planning for Senior Citizens
Storms in South Florida are almost always unexpected and they often pose a serious threat, especially for the senior citizen community. From preparing your home and belongings to determining a plan if an evacuation is ordered, seniors must develop a plan of action when an emergency strikes. First and foremost, it is important to lean on family, friends, and neighbors when possible. In addition, relief workers and local officials may also be available to help you deal with a disaster. However, there are certainly times when these groups of people will not be able to reach you right away and that is when your storm preparedness planning comes in.
The first step in disaster planning is to develop and organize the three main steps to preparedness:
- Get a disaster kit: purchase a supplies kit with food, water, medications, and emergency supplies that could last up to three days. Be sure this kit is light enough for you to carry, or better yet, stored in a bag on wheels. Keep a folder with all of your vital documents so that you can easily grab it if you need to leave quickly. Also, be sure to consistently update your disaster kit every six months to ensure that you have all that you need as your needs may change.
- Develop a plan: set up a meeting with your family and friends to determine exactly what would happen if a storm hits. Be sure to carry your family’s contact information in your wallet so that you have it at all times. In addition, discuss escape routes and proper meeting places so that you have a specific routine narrowed down.
- Stay informed: listen for updates from your community as well as from local authorities when a disaster situation is on the horizon. Listen to the television or radio weather station or local news to stay informed on potential evacuation orders or other important information.
Being caught in a disaster unprepared is truly a nightmare. When a sudden emergency strikes, it is critical to be ready for anything. From hurricanes to fires and from rainstorms to power outages, there is no such thing as being too prepared. As we round out the final weeks of storm season, double-check your preparedness routine and ensure that you are prepared.