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Emergency Preparedness for Seniors

If an emergency arose, would you be prepared? How about a senior in your life? Whether a natural disaster or another type of emergency, seniors need to have a preparedness plan in place to help them handle unforeseen events. Seniors can manage a situation better if they possess the knowledge of what to do and if they can practice safety scenarios before a disaster strikes. As a caregiver, you can assist the senior in your life by offering proactive and useful ideas on how to take prompt action in a crisis.

Develop an Effective Plan

A preparedness plan gives seniors the information they need in a crisis. Here are some key areas to address in developing helpful emergency guidelines:

• Create a chain of contacts: Develop a group of contacts into a call chain, where one-by-one you call each person until all group members are reached. If everyone is comfortable using a mobile phone, create a group text that is sent to all emergency contacts.

• Arrange for transportation: If self-evacuation is not an option, have a designated driver (caregiver, neighbor or family member) ready to transport. Consider arranging a back-up driver for additional protection.

• Review shelter-in-place procedures: Shelter-in-place may be required in some emergencies. Employ visual aids, with clear instructions, as quick reminders of the most important safety steps.

• Prepare an emergency kit: Emergency kits can be purchased or created depending on personal needs. Kits should always be stored in an accessible place.

Seniors should review preparedness plans regularly, so that taking action feels familiar and provides reassurance in a crisis.

Prepare Emergency Kit Items

An emergency kit is a must for any preparedness plan. Check them regularly to make sure supplies are stocked and ready for use. Here are some ideas for what to store in your emergency kit:

• Flashlights with fresh batteries

• Extra batteries

• Canned foods

• Snack supplies

• Can opener

• Water

• First aid supplies

• Hygiene supplies

• Medicines

• Cash and debit/credit cards

• Phone chargers

• Pet food and supplies

It’s a good idea to include a quick-glance sheet of all the medications, for both personal reference and for medical treatment. Make copies of important documents, such as wills, power of attorney forms and insurance cards to place inside the kit.

Stay Informed

Conditions in natural disasters can shift quickly, so stay up-to-date by watching TV, by listening to the radio, or by using weather apps on a mobile phone to receive updated instructions from local authorities. Group contacts can also disseminate this information to each other in a timely manner.

Get Help When You Need It

If you need assistance with emergency preparedness, Home Helpers of Drexel Hill is always here for you. We provide the support, guidance and personal care to keep seniors safe in emergency situations. You can learn more today by calling our office at (484) 730-2201