Emergency Preparedness: Protecting Your Loved Ones from Weather Disasters

Blowing dust, heavy rain and lightning flashes are the tell-tale signs that monsoon season has officially hit the Valley of the Sun. While this provides the spectator with spectacular views of Mother Nature’s power, this time of the year can also produce extremely dangerous situations, especially for our aging loved ones.

Many older adults who receive caregiving assistance may not be able to fully protect themselves from these unsafe weather conditions. With the potential of disaster from flash floods, power outages, and other weather-related occurrences, it is important to be aware of how you can ensure your aging loved ones are safe, and maybe for even days at a time.

The American Red Cross suggests a variety of ways you can help prepare both yourself and the ones your love before and during a storm:

  • Take shelter and pick a safe place in the home. Decide where to gather, and make sure it is away from windows, sky lights and glass doors that may break due to severe winds or hail.
  • Pack an emergency kit. This may be the most important step to take when ensuring the safety of our older loved one. Include the following:
    • Water — one gallon per person, per day, and make sure to have a two week supply in the home
    • Food — nonperishable items
    • Flashlight — do not use candles during a power outage due to the increased risk of fire
    • Extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Medications — seven day supply that is clearly labeled. Be mindful that some medications need refrigeration, so keep a small cooler handy with ice in the event of a power outage.
    • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • Copies of personal documents — including medication list, birth certificates, insurance policies, and any other important information
    • Cell phone with chargers
    • Family and emergency contact information
    • Extra cash
  • Keep food safe. This can be especially difficult during an extended power outage.
    • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
    • Use food from the fridge first, followed by freezer and then finally nonperishable items.
    • Keep a cooler and ice on hand to keep food cool if the power is out for longer than one day.

Don’t forget to keep a non-cordless phone in the home for power outages, as well as maintain a full tank of gas in your car if evacuation is needed.

At Cypress HomeCare Solutions, we strive to find the best solution to fit your individual needs. If you have any questions in preparing for weather-related disasters, please call our office at 602-264-8009 and we will gladly find you the resources you need.

Posted on August 2, 2012