Be Prepared When Mother Nature Sends Trouble Your Way
What will you do if you end up in the path of a natural disaster? Are you ready if your home and life are completely disrupted? Putting together a truly reliable emergency plan along with a natural disaster emergency kit can make the difference between being scattered, confused, and panicky, and being ready to face storms head-on with peace of mind.
Make a plan
A basic step toward emergency preparedness is creating a practical plan for your family. This should include sitting down together and organizing strategies for how you will respond should an emergency occur. You should discuss who will be responsible for what action steps, such as shutting down electricity, gathering supplies, and checking the status of pets and elderly relatives and neighbors. Discuss where you will reconvene if you become separated. It helps to put everything in writing so there isn’t any miscommunication or forgotten steps. DailyCaring recommends reaching out not only to family members but also neighbors and friends if you have senior loved ones living outside your home. Spell out your instructions and give everyone in your support network copies of the emergency plan.
Shelter in place
A basic component in being ready for the worst is deciding where to go in your home if severe storms threaten. American Red Cross recommends selecting an interior room on the lowest level of your home. There should be few or preferably no windows, and ideally it will include a landline phone. If you have an elderly relative, help that loved one decide what room in his or her house would be safest if a need to shelter in place should arise.
Assemble a kit
Every household should have an emergency disaster kit conveniently located and fully assembled should an unforeseen event occur. Your kit should include pertinent vital information, particularly if you or a loved one is a senior or suffers with a chronic illness. One recommendation is to include medical records, medication and prescription information, insurance documents, and important contact data in the kit. If your senior needs specialized medical treatments of any sort, such as cancer treatments, include that contact information as well. Also include information for important emergency preparedness resources such as Verizon. Kits should be updated regularly as data changes. All emergency preparedness kits should include the following:
● Food and water
● Flashlights and batteries
● A whistle
● Cell phone charger
● Multipurpose tool or knife
● First aid items and medications
● A radio
● Personal hygiene items
● Some cash
● Copies of vital records, including identification records, immunizations, medical data,
insurance information, and bank account contacts.
For those with older family members, natural disasters can present added worries. Ensure your loved one has access to weather and news information that is in a format comfortable for him or her to use. A reliable emergency radio is a must-have. Another suggestion for families with seniors is to make the most of the advantages technology provides. For instance, there are assistive devices that turn SMART TVs into user-friendly videophones. Cell phones can be equipped with excellent options such as emergency alerts and quick access to contacts. A simplified computer and cell phone that your senior is comfortable operating are also beneficial; resort to a flip-phone if necessary. Note that if an emergency should arise, keep communications as simple as possible, especially with older adults. When stressed, our minds don’t process information in the same way, so use words which are direct and clear.
Safe and confident
It’s vital to have a plan in place should a natural disaster occur. Avoid confusion and panic by establishing a practical and organized response plan, and assemble a kit so supplies are ready. If trouble comes your way, you can rest assured you and your loved ones are ready.