When a hurricane threatens, the elderly population may face additional danger, according to a FEMA news release.
They face many more obstacles in an emergency than most people: isolation, reduced mobility and medical needs. Older people can reduce their risk by preparing for hurricanes and other emergencies before they happen.
Make a list of people who can help you
- You can rely on only one parent as the primary caregiver. But emergencies can happen at any time and your regular caregiver may not be with you. It’s important to have a list of people you can call on.
- Create a contact chain. Assign who will contact whom in an emergency. Ask your family, friends and neighbors. Don’t leave everything to one person, because if they are injured or incapacitated, you may find yourself stuck. Keep your list of helpers in your emergency kit.
- If you find it difficult to move on your own, you may need someone to help you enter your shelter or evacuate. Identify in advance who will help you.
- Many communication applications are available for smartphones. Choose one or two, then ask family and friends on your emergency contact list to download those same apps. They can be used to communicate in the event of a breakdown in telephone services.
Make sure your medical information is available
If you have a medical condition, you can choose to wear a medical alert bracelet or pendant. It could save your life, especially if you are diabetic or allergic to specific medications, etc. All of the medical alert jewelry available today could help first responders treat you properly in case you are unable to give or tell them your medical history. .
What to pack if you leave home
Listing: Before an emergency strikes, make a list of everything you need to stay healthy. Include the name and contact information for your doctor and pharmacy, a list of your medications, and any medical devices you use. Then let people on your contact list know where the list will be in case you need it.
Case: You need a kit with all the items you need to survive for a minimum of 72 hours. For a complete list, visit www.ready.gov. The American Red Cross can also help you with information on recommended items.
Cash: The general rule is to have at least enough money to pay for 30 days of essential expenses. Make sure you have at least some of your money in small denominations and some in coins in case you need them.
Everyone can take steps to prepare for the most likely types of emergencies where they live. In Louisiana, these include hurricanes and river flooding, but also flash floods, fires, and more.
Sometimes the danger is known well in advance and you have time to prepare, the statement said. Other times you need to react quickly. Always follow the instructions given by local authorities when deciding whether or not to evacuate. Know who will help you before you need it.