If you’ve lived in Florida for more than a few years, you have probably become desensitized to the word hurricane. While Floridians are notorious for “toughing it out” during a hurricane, there’s certainly a smart way to go about it.
As we settle into hurricane season in Florida it’s important to know some of the basic tips and guidelines to keep you safe during the season!
The most important tip for those who choose to shelter in place during a hurricane is to prepare enough supplies for at least 7 days. Keep in mind, sheltering in place puts you at risk of having no running water, electricity, or your beloved AC! While preparing for up to 2 weeks is preferred, 7 days usually will do the trick!
If you are caring for a loved one (who may be elderly), the risks of danger can be even greater. Hurricane preparation is necessary for seniors to help reduce this risk.
1. Create a Contact List
The most important thing you can do during hurricane season when caring for a loved one is to create a chain of contacts. Hurricanes can create a cause for evacuation, so those who you may typically rely on for help might not be available. Creating a list of contacts with designated roles to help is invaluable to our seniors.
2. Get a Medical I.D.
If your loved one has any medical conditions (such a diabetes or allergies), it is important to this information readily available in case of an emergency. If your loved one is not wearing a medical id bracelet, necklace, or pendant, I highly suggest purchasing one. This can help first responders treat your loved one properly in case of a disaster.
3. Medication List
After you have created your list of contacts, you will then want to make a list of any medications you need, any medical devices you use, as well as the contact information to your pharmacy and prescriber. Sharing this list with you designated contacts can create a smoother process of giving your loved one the help they need in case of an emergency.
4. Have an Evacuation Plan
Now that you have your list of contacts and medications, you will want to prepare an evacuation route in the case of an emergency. Take the time to plan the safest and easiest route to the interstate. When evacuating you may experience losing cellphone signal or internet, so plan your route on a map. It sounds old school, but it might just be what helps you to safety!
5. Prepare a “Bug out Bag”
One thing my father taught me for hurricane preparation is to always have (what he calls) a “bug out bag”. In the case of you needing to evacuate, having this “bug out bag” pre-made can help you evacuate quickly if need be. The most important thing to include in this bag is your list of contacts and medications. You will also want to include enough supplies to survive for at least 72 hours. This should include clothes, cash, medications, non-perishable food items, water, and a small first aid kit.
6. Stash Some Cash
Finally, the last essential item you will need to prepare for a hurricane is cash, whether you choose to shelter in place or evacuate. The most common rule of thumb is having enough cash to cover the cost of 30 days of essential living expenses. While this may seem steep, having this prepared in advance will help reduce any stress in the case of an emergency.
Even though Floridians are great at “toughing it out” during hurricane season, you can never be too careful, especially when caring for a loved one. Our senior population will always be at a higher risk of danger during these events, so take the time today to ensure that they are prepared in case of an emergency.
If you or your loved one need help preparing during hurricane season, please don’t hesitate to call our home care team for assistance. ActivAge Home Care can be reached at 941-205-7449.
If you need a fun and engaging place for your loved one during the day so you can prepare, call ActivAge Adult Day (the “Club”) at 941-205-7722. We are here to help!