Hurricane Preparations for Our Seniors
It is important to remember the safety of our elderly before hurricane season storms. Whether you live near or far away, ensuring they have the proper resources is vital. We recommend starting in plenty of time when preparing your elderly loved ones for a hurricane… Because helping seniors can take longer than expected.
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Florida hurricane season starts Jun 1st and ends Nov 30th of every year.
It may be daunting preparing for a hurricane, but in this guide we provide tips on how to best prepare our seniors. We cover topics such as creating a plan, stocking up on supplies, and staying informed. By following this guide, you can help your elderly loved ones be safer and more secure for the storm.
Preparing for a hurricane should take place well before the storm approaches. Here are 7 important tips to follow:
Create a List of Resources
Ensure your elderly have a written (not electronic) list of phone numbers. Review the list with them to ensure they know who to call for “what” and “when”:
- All family
- Local friends
- Direct neighbors
- Primary care physician
- Local disaster relief
Collect and Protect Documents
The items below should be in one place and in a sealed plastic bag. To be extra secure, take photos of each document with a mobile phone. Then, save them to a USB drive and place in a safety deposit box.
- Birth certificate
- Personal ID
- Social Security card
- Insurance policy
IMPORTANT: Do not print any of the above items using an inkjet printer unless it is laminated afterwards. This is because the list may get wet and the ink will run and become illegible.
Know the Status of Hurricanes
Have your elderly loved one stay informed by watching weather updates for their specific area. We recommend the following weather resources when tracking hurricanes:
- National Hurricane Center: www.NHC.NOAA.gov
- The Weather Channel Florida: Weather.com
- Florida Weather Radar: www.AccuWeather.com
- Hurricane Tracker App: www.HurrTracker.com
Having a hurricane tracking app on their phone is very useful for when the power goes out or they simply do not have access to a television or radio.
Medication Quantity Check
When preparing elderly loved ones for a hurricane, make sure that all medicines are in excess. Having extra medications will help prevent them from running out. If not doing so already, portion out the medication by day to make things easier and less stressful. It’s also a mental relief for everyone.
Secure Pets and Animals
Keep your pet in a carrier designed for your kind of animal or on the correct type and strength leash. You never know when you may be forced to evacuate. The last thing you want is to be tracking down a petrified animal during the chaos. So, encourage your seniors to secure their pet before the storm hits.
Create a Hurricane Check-in Protocol
There’s nothing more stressful than not being able to reach your elderly loved ones. If you don’t live near them, ask if their neighbor will check in at least once per day. Also, don’t forget to inform them to expect a visit from the neighbor daily.
Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home
If your senior is in special housing, call the front office and ask about the following:
- If proper backup generators are present on the property
- If staff levels will be safely maintained during the storm
- For a copy of their emergency evacuation or relocation plan
- “If” and “when” an evacuation or relocation may take place
Hurricane Prepared Checklist for Seniors
Use this checklist for hurricane preparedness to check-off items you have. This will help you keep track of the items you still need.
REMINDERS: Don’t forget to be responsible when you learn of a hurricane approaching:
- Stock up on popular items before a storm approaches to avoid stores selling out. This will help relieve anxiety once the storm has arrived. Bottled water and batteries sellout the quickest.
- Everyone should make an effort to stay up to date on weather forecasts and news alerts. This is to best prepare for incoming storms, and allows for quick action if necessary.
For more information on hurricane preparations see: Preparing for Hurricane & Preparedness Checklist Florida 2023
The importance of preparing elderly loved ones for a hurricane cannot be overstated. While easier said than done, taking the necessary steps to ensure their safety is worth it for both of you. Not only will the steps you take now go a long way for their safety, they will also help ease your minds. It is our responsibility to protect and look after our seniors. With the right preparation, our elderly can feel confident during hurricane season too.