Hurricane Prep 101: Making Sure Elderly Family Members Are Prepared

456424 - a father and son working together to install plywood over windows in preparation for a hurricane.

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Florida residents don’t have much time to breathe a sigh of relief after the harsh summer season ends. The hot and humid weather is immediately replaced by the looming threat of severe hurricane weather. Dozens of cities throughout Florida have been slammed by hurricanes just in the last few years, and there’s no doubt that at least one major hurricane will take place this fall also.

With that being said, it’s never been more important make sure your elderly family members are prepared for severe weather events like hurricanes.

Develop and Write Down Essential Information

You need to prepare for the possibility that you will become separated from your elderly family member during a storm. Create a written, detailed description of your loved one’s daily living requirements and medical needs to ensure that anybody else can step in and provide the necessary care. This document can be attached to the front of the refrigerator and distributed to key people. It should include the following information:

  • How your family member spends his/her time
  • When medication should be taken
  • Techniques that help your loved one handle stress and trauma

Keep Extra Medications On Hand

Make sure to keep an extra month’s supply of prescription medication on hand. If stores are closed after the storm or your family is forced to evacuate, an extra month of medication prevents any problems. Be sure to think ahead for medication that requires refrigeration. If you lose power during a hurricane, how will you continue to store the medication safely? This will most likely require the addition of a generator.

Buy a Generator or Locate Nearby Shelters

The elderly become overheated easily, which makes it difficult to stay safe during a power outage. It’s wise to invest in a generator to guarantee your loved one stays cool in the aftermath of a hurricane. If a generator is not an option, research local shelters so you know exactly where you can take your loved one for immediate relief.

Prepare the Home to Survive Heavy Winds and Rain

You never know how strong a hurricane will be until it occurs. Make sure you take all precautions necessary to protect your loved one’s home from the heavy winds and rains:

  • Fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply
  • Secure loose items like grills and bicycles
  • Disconnect appliances to reduce electrical shock
  • Collect emergency supplies like batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food, drinking water, and a first-aid kit.

With the right preparation, your elderly family member will stay safe, healthy, and comfortable during Florida’s hurricane season.