4 Tips for How Older Individuals Can Prepare for Emergencies
Being older often means that you're more aware of your surroundings and more likely to take preventative measures. However, some physical and mental limitations come with getting older. Arthritis and other joint issues make climbing up a ladder in a hurricane difficult, and memory loss makes it hard to remember where you stored your things. The key is knowing your limitations and working around them to remain safe in any situation. Here are four ways that older adults can be more prepared for an emergency:
1. Keep Yourself Updated
Even though disasters can happen at any moment, certain regions are more vulnerable to specific kinds of emergencies. Depending on your location, you can be more susceptible to troubles like flooding, rain, earthquakes, wildfires, or even surges in crime rates. Keep the radio tuned to your local emergency station. Watch TV and follow mobile alerts for warnings about your area's severe weather conditions and social atmosphere.
2. Create an Emergency Plan
Make a written emergency plan to get ready for an emergency. Communicating your plans with individuals in your senior's support network is best so that everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of disaster.
- Determine how you will communicate with each other during a disaster and choose a contact person who will check on you during that time, for instance, by telephone or dropping a visit.
- List the phone numbers and email addresses of relatives and friends. You should keep two copies on hand: one in your emergency supply kit and one in your phone.
- Prepare your escape route and destination in case of an evacuation. Store a copy of the meeting locations and departure routes in a convenient place.
- Get up-to-date information on any local emergencies. Obtain a regional emergency/disaster plan for your area. Find out where evacuees go to receive medical attention or emergency prescription supplies.
3. Prepare an Emergency Kit
It's critical to always be ready for natural disasters or sudden medical emergencies. Items like these should be in this bag:
- Put your medicines along with a list of their names and dosages. Any medicine that needs to be refrigerated, such as insulin, should be kept in an insulated bag large enough to store a two-week supply.
- Include a blood pressure cuff, a blood sugar monitor, hearing aids, batteries, and dentures.
- Include items required for your particular needs, such as meal replacement shakes, oxygen, catheters, hearing aid batteries, and eyeglasses.
4. Discuss Your Plan With Caregivers
You might not have access to a hospital or a pharmacy in a crisis. Discuss your emergency backup plan with your caregiver and make sure they know all of your medical conditions. In an emergency, you may stop breathing or have a problem with your heartbeat. If you have a caregiver who visits you regularly, ensure they have taken some CPR healthcare provider course and a first aid course.
Emergency preparedness becomes increasingly crucial as life gets more complicated for older adults. It can be especially true for people who may have health issues or are legally blind or deaf. Having a family member or close friend you can rely on to keep you safe during a crisis can be the basis of a simple emergency plan. If you live alone, you could list your friends and family members you want to contact in an emergency.