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During the months of June down through the end of July, hurricane season is in full swing. Precautions should be taken by everyone, but it is especially important to be aware of senior safety tips for hurricanes. Older people have more needs that require earlier planning; prescriptions, mobility barriers, and securing a safe place to stay, well before a Hurricane hits. At North Star Senior Advisors, we encourage our seniors to fully prepare themselves in the event of a hurricane by familiarizing themselves with these necessary tips.
Preparation is the key to remaining calm, collected, and ready for action. Early evacuation is imperative and finding the right place to evacuate to are equally vital safety tips for a hurricane. Some individuals do not have family nearby to offer support for their loved ones. A senior safety tip or precaution is to contact their local emergency preparation services for assistance in the evacuation process or for any other necessary preparations. Most local management services have a system in place to ensure a smooth transition from the home to a safer destination, whether it is a shelter, medical facility, or hotel. A great place to keep in mind is The American Red Cross, since they offer special services other shelters do not provide. If your physician recommends a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or assisted living facility as the best possible shelter based on your needs, that is a great option if you need additional care. You can reside in an assisted living facility on a temporary or respite stay. You may also prefer a nice, spacious hotel over a smaller shelter, but securing a room in advance is critical since the rooms may already be full. Instead of waiting for a hurricane warning, start planning the evacuation process as soon as a hurricane watch is issued. That way, you can determine the ideal location, perfect for your needs and preferences.
Gathering the right supplies to last for at least two weeks is also essential. Food, water, medication, and anything that needs electricity to operate (such as an oxygen machine), are things that require “ahead of time thinking.” Ice packs are good for food and water as well as anything else that needs refrigeration. Also, a backup power source along with batteries is highly recommended for items that need power. Check with your physician or even the manufacturer of your electricity-dependent equipment for instructions on how to maintain power in such emergencies. For everyone, especially senior safety with hurricanes, it’s imperative that medications be filled prior to the evacuation. Keep a list of items and procedures needed so you can simply check off boxes when/if the time comes. As stated above, local emergency services can assist in any of these tasks for your safety.
Communication is one of the most important things to remember aside from collecting the right supplies and staying prepared for the evacuation process. Make sure you tell your family and friends where you are going and what the plan is. Even if your family is nearby, it is still crucial to keep your loved ones informed of your whereabouts. A hurricane can strike at any time; safety and preparation are the top priorities for any senior!
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