Taking the Crisis out of an Evacuation Aging in Place - Emergency Preparedness
Global warming has made our weather today is less predictable than ever. News stories abound on the dramatic swings of temperature, torrential downpours or raging wildfires due to extended drought conditions. In fact, ‘weather’ has its own 24 hours reality television channel and federal agency in FEMA.
Our first hurdle to emergency preparation is mental. It is human nature to deny such things will happen to us. Remember, we are not tempting fate by being prepared just as buying insurance does not mean that a car accident is waiting to happen on the next road trip.
The Red Cross has a prepacked Emergency Preparedness kit you can purchase online today. I highly recommend purchasing one for each family member especially for our senior family members aging in the community.
Emergency Preparedness includes creating and sharing an evacuation plan for special attention to care for our most vulnerable family and friends:
● Set up a REUNIONCare account with a Circle of Care filled with family and caregivers in addition to listing all the physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other providers in the REUNIONCare Address Book.
● Share a travel plan and share it with your loved using this guide Travel arrangements for all senior adults. After a disaster declaration, time moves fast as everyone scrambles out of harm’s way. Create that travel plan now before the need arises. Telecommunication services may suffer service issues during a crisis so a paper copy is the best back up plan.
● Select a meeting place outside the declared disaster area. Sometimes this location would be in another city. Be sure to identify care facilities for the senior adult in the relocation community.
● Collect all the medications - one month supply in the original containers with the prescription clearly visible. A medical identification card or bracelet is helpful listing allergies, medications, diagnosis and emergency contact. Be sure to store the medications as directed which may include a small cooler for items such as insulin.
● List all the medical equipment and supplies needed. Be sure to take along any monitoring, mobility and other adaptive equipment. Pack up older/alternative prescription glasses, hearing aids and other devices that may work short term in case an item is left behind.
● Create an Emergency Suitcase. Keep a suitcase packed with a week of clothes, toiletries and other personal supplies along with the medical equipment in an easy to reach location, preferably near the most common exit. This will minimize the time and energy devoted to moving things allowing for more time to concentrate assisting people.
REUNIONCare will store the health information for your senior adult electronically. We recommend Circle of Care members use the Bulletin Board to stay current on the location and health of our most vulnerable loved ones.