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How Older Adults Can Prepare for Storms and Natural Disasters
How Older Adults Can Prepare for Storms and Natural Disasters

How Older Adults Can Prepare for Storms and Natural Disasters


As summer approaches, so does the potential for hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. For older adults, being prepared can make all the difference in ensuring safety and well-being during weather-related emergencies.

Whether it's preparing before disaster strikes, knowing how to respond during a crisis, or recovering afterwards, having a plan in place is essential. Here's a comprehensive guide to help older adults navigate storm and natural disaster preparedness.

Preparation Before a Storm Strikes

Create an Emergency Kit

Stock up on non-perishable food items, bottled water, medications, and important documents such as identification, insurance papers, medical records, and legal documents. Include a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, and any necessary medical supplies. Don't forget to pack personal hygiene items and any special items needed for pets.

Develop a Communication Plan

Exchange contact information with family members, neighbors, and caregivers. In case you get separated from loved ones during an evacuation, designate a meeting place for after the disaster. Keep a list of emergency contacts, such as local authorities, law enforcement, and utility companies.

Assess and Secure Your Home

Identify potential hazards in your home such as loose roof tiles, weak tree branches, or unstable furniture. Make sure to also reinforce windows and doors. Consider installing hurricane shutters or storm-proofing your home if you live in a hurricane-prone area. If you live in an area that gets tornadoes or earthquakes, take shelter in either a basement or ground-level room with no windows. You can hide under a strong piece of furniture — like a sturdy table — or take cover under mattresses, sleeping bags, etc.

If possible, trim trees and shrubs to reduce the risk of falling branches. Additionally, investing in a generator is important in the event you lose power for a significant amount of time. If you have air conditioning, ensure it's in good working condition.

Stay Informed

Monitor weather forecasts regularly and stay updated on any evacuation orders or emergency alerts issued by local authorities. Sign up for emergency notification systems provided by your community.

Plan Evacuation Routes

Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes in your area and plan multiple routes in case roads get blocked off. If needed, arrange transportation assistance, especially if you have mobility issues.

Responding During a Storm

Stay Calm and Follow Instructions

If evacuation orders are issued, follow them promptly and calmly. If sheltering in place, stay indoors and away from windows, and listen to updates from local authorities. Use battery-powered radios or smartphones to stay informed if power is out.

Recovering After a Storm

Assess Damage and Safety

If you evacuated, assess your home after the disaster for any damage and ensure it's safe to re-enter. This includes checking for gas leaks, electrical hazards, and structural damage before returning home.

Seek Assistance if Needed

Contact local emergency services if you require assistance with clean-up, medical care, or temporary housing. Reach out to community organizations, such as the Red Cross or local relief agencies, for support and resources.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Living through storms can be a traumatizing experience, so it's important to prioritize your mental well-being. Lean on friends, family, and support networks for emotional support. Consider seeking professional help if you're struggling to cope with the aftermath.

Preparing for Storms and Natural Disasters with Dedicated

It’s crucial to have a healthcare provider who you trust to offer proactive care and support during natural disasters and emergencies. Start by booking a tour with us and speaking with one of our healthcare providers about preventive measures. With Dedicated, you can prepare for emergencies confidently knowing that your care team has your back no matter what.

We are hiring! If you’re ready to work for a company that cares about kind and effective care, check out our job listings.

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