Disaster preparation for Care Givers and Seniors
With the recent wild fires, flooding and storms rolling across the country, it would behoove us to not address the importance of disaster readiness preparation for caregivers. Being prepared in case of an emergency is crucial, especially for care givers. This list should help you gather what you may need to prepare. Be sure to label it “emergency kit” and place it in a watertight container. If possible keep one in your vehicle, as well as your home or your loved ones home if they still live apart.
- Copies of important documents are key, particularly for care givers:
- Identification and legal papers (such as power of attorney or guardianship papers)
- list medications and dosages
- copies of prescriptions
- list of Illnesses and ailments
- coordinating list of prescribing doctors, along with contact information (consider picking up a few extra business cards next time you go just for this reason!)
- Insurance or Medicare information
Be sure to put these in Ziploc bags and update these documents as needed!
- Extra weather appropriate clothing
- Extra commonly used over the counter medications and/or medical supplies (such as diabetic syringes or testing supplies)
- Incontinence products, undergarments
- A recent picture of your loved one, in particular if they have dementia or are prone to wonder off
- Bottled water for 3-6 days (1 gallon per person per day)
- Flashlight with extra batteries and/or solar camping lantern
- Emergency Radio
- First aid kit
- Waterproof matches / fire starting kit / light sticks
- Reflective / protective blankets
- Rain gear and/or cold weather gear depending on your location
- Food items for 3-6 days
It should go without saying that if your loved one is mentally competent enough that you should discuss a disaster preparation or severe weather plan with them. Agree on 1-3 safe places to meet in the event of a disaster if you are separated and be sure they know where their disaster preparation or evacuation kit is kept.
It can seem overwhelming financially and time wise to gather all these items at once. It does not have to be all or nothing; so start with the basics, copies of your important documents in water tight containers and basic first aid kit, then build from there. Hopefully these tips will provide both you and your loved one some peace of mind as severe weather season begins. Please feel free to comment with any suggestions on anything we may have missed, or your own disaster preparation or evacuation experience.