Aging and Disaster Preparedness: Steps to take to protect yourself

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Aging and Disaster Preparedness: Steps to take to protect yourself

A disaster can happen at any moment – are you prepared? At Reliable Caregivers, we have implemented multiple emergency preparedness measures in order to respond to our client’s needs in the event of a disaster. Now it’s your turn!

Planning ahead for an emergency reduces anxiety and increases your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones. Individuals with mobility issues, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other concerns often need additional consideration when planning for a disaster. Read on for our top emergency preparedness recommendations!

Disaster Preparedness Tips
• Evaluate your capabilities and limitations to determine what type of support you may need. If you are dependent on electricity for your wheelchair, breathing machine, or any other life sustaining device, plan for a loss of power.
• Develop a “Buddy System” or a plan for family check-ins. Identify people you can rely on in an emergency and ask them to check on you and provide assistance if needed. Explain your needs and teach them what they need to know in order to help you. You may want to give them a spare copy of your important keys.
• Make an information sheet of life support needs, medical conditions, medications and dosages, allergies, special equipment, medical insurance or Medicare cards, as well as personal and medical contact details. Keep an updated copy inside your emergency kit and provide a copy to someone you trust. If possible, keep a 7-14 day supply of medications at all times.
• Compile a list of important emergency phone numbers and keep it accessible at all times.
• If you or your loved one has developmental, cognitive, or intellectual disabilities, keep a simple list of what to do and important information nearby. Practice your plan in advance. If you use augmentative communication supports, include these in your planning.
• Label adaptive equipment or other devices with your contact information in case they are separated from you.
• Make a plan for refrigerated medications in the event of a loss of power. Stock up on chemical cold packs and a cooler.

Recommended Emergency Supply Checklist
• 3-day supply of drinking water (one gallon per person, per day)
• 3-day supply of non-perishable food. Don’t forget a manual can opener!
• Battery powered or hand crank radio with extra batteries
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Whistle to signal for help
• Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to create shelter
• Moist towelettes, hand sanitizers, briefs, under pads, pull-ups, and garbage bags for personal sanitation
• Fire extinguisher
• Chemical cold packs for any refrigerated medications
• List of medications, emergency contact phone numbers, copies of insurance ID cards, DNR or POLST forms in a plastic bag

The goal of this article is to get you thinking about how to prepare yourself or your family for an emergency situation. Reliable Caregivers recommends that you create your own unique disaster preparedness plan and share it among family and friends. Check out these additional resources for more in-depth information on disaster preparedness:

FEMA Disaster Preparedness
Red Cross Disaster Preparedness

Reliable Caregivers provides highly personalized, in-home care throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Our caregivers enable individuals to maintain their daily routine, while in the comfort and safety of their own home. Call us today at 415-436-0100 to schedule a free in-home assessment to determine your loved one’s care needs.

2017-08-11T17:01:20+00:00 Categories: Caregiver Topics, Elder Care Topics, Insights|