Community Blog

Six Storm Safety Tips for Seniors in Clearwater

By Debbie Humphrey

We can’t fly through June and coast into July without mentioning the importance of storm readiness in light of hurricane season which began June 1.

Seniors in Clearwater, as well as our surrounding areas, were in the direct path of Tropical Storm Colin early in the severe weather season. Thankfully damage was not catastrophic, and the powerful storm did not reach hurricane status, only packing heavy rain, lightning and wind.

If Colin had strengthened to a hurricane, depending upon the category, evacuation of the area may have been encouraged. However, with most of these tropical storms and lower-level hurricanes, evacuation is not necessary if you are properly prepared.

Six storm safety tips for seniors in Clearwater include:

  • Stock-up on non-perishable food items. In the event the power goes out for an extended period of time, or flooding and road hazards occur that keep you stationary – be it hours, days or weeks – it is important to keep non-perishable food available to maintain a certain level of nutrition and fuel for energy, no matter what your body’s age. Options for non-perishable food include peanut butter, crackers, granola/breakfast/protein bars, single-servings of canned fruits, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Keep perishable food from spoiling. Should you lose electrical power, one way to keep existing food from spoiling is to purchase an ice block to keep in the refrigerator. This will maintain a cool enough temp so you can use the food before it spoils. However, each time you open the door, cool air escapes shortening. If you do not open the freezer, the food may last for a few days, but after that, the contents should be considered inedible. An inexpensive freezer thermometer can determine when it is no longer cold enough to preserve frozen food.
  • Keep plenty of water on-hand. If water service was discontinued due to line breaks or power loss, it is vital that you have plenty of water available for drinking, cooking and washing. Most seniors do not have youngsters in the house, and possibly, no pets, in which case a bathtub of water could be used for washing. It is a better idea to keep a generous supply of bottled drinking water on-hand and fill gallon jugs with water to use for cooking and bathing.
  • Write down important phone numbers. Most people keep phone numbers stored in their cell phones these days. Seniors with landlines may have one-touch dialing to 911, family members, friends and neighbors. When the loss of power renders phones useless, how would you find the numbers? It is best to write them down and keep handy just in case.
  • Prepare a storm kit. It can be very dark without electricity to power modern-day lamps. LED flashlights are the best idea for navigating dark corridors, stairways and rooms. Extra batteries are a great idea, too, should the situation linger-on. Also, a simple first aid kit is good to keep around, and matches or a lighter for lighting candles or a gas stove or barbeque grill.
  • Prepare an evacuation kit. Worst case scenario, you must evacuate. Keep a “go-bag” handy with several changes of clothes, undergarments, pajamas, snacks and medicines so if an evacuation becomes necessary, you are ready to go.

If you know a senior in Clearwater is alone in a severe storm event, and there is no one to stay with them to make sure they are safe, consider the option of a compassionate caregiver, available 24/7, 365. They can make certain the home is safe, go grocery shopping for water, food and snacks; provide transportation to safe places; and be a companion when the weather is scary, dreary and dark.

Keep seniors in Clearwater safe this hurricane season. Call the professionals at Home Helpers today to schedule your FREE in-home consultation: 727-942-2539.