Preparing Seniors for a Natural Disaster

The news is full of stories of the ravages of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I read in yesterday’s paper that 150 assisted living and skilled facilities in Florida were forced to evacuate, a new record. It made me realize that it’s time to review our loved one’s emergency supplies to prepare for Mother Nature. If your loved one lives in a supportive environment such as independent living, assisted living or a skilled environment, check with the administrator to see what their policies are. Communities are required to have emergency plans set in place for their residents.

If your loved one lives in his or her own home, there are other considerations. Does she/he use an agency for caregivers? If so, what is their bad weather policy? How will your loved one get the help they need? Are there neighbors nearby that can help out? Make sure you have names and phone numbers before bad weather comes along. Here is a list of supplies to have prepared:

  • Emergency food and water supplies. The recommendation is for 1 gallon of water/person for 3 days total and enough non-perishable food, (that doesn’t need to be cooked) for 3 days
  • Prescription medications, don’t let supplies of medications drop down to less than one week’s worth during hurricane/snowy seasons depending on where you live
  • Flashlights, matches and candles, and a fire extinguisher
  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit with a whistle to call for help if needed
  • Baby wipes to clean yourself with
  • Incontinence supplies
  • Shovel and salt for snow
  • Pencil, paper, books, crossword puzzles and cards
  • Extra blankets and warm clothing

You can check out more information at