As people age, their capabilities no longer amount to what they once were. Some may be in good health but might not be as agile as they used to be. While others may have hearing and vision problems, possibly even a type of disability requiring objects like a cane, or a wheelchair. Whatever the limitations, you must be prepared.
This is why we have compiled a list of 7 necessary precautions that Senior’s should take.
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Identify Risks
Learn what type of disasters or emergencies may be common in your area. Many natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis are determined by your geographic location; however some such as earthquakes, floods, fires, winter storms and tornadoes can occur at anytime, anywhere. Also don’t forget to always be aware of your surroundings when you are out in public. We all too often hear of man-made disasters such as bombs and terrorist attacks these days, so make sure you are prepared for emergency situations outside of your home as well. Know your exits and make sure to have the proper documentation you might need at all times, such as your health insurance and identification card.
2) Locate Community Resources
In some cases of emergency situations, local authorities will warn you of pending or current disasters. Identify how they might notify you whether it is through an alarm, or a local radio or TV station. Understand the difference between a watch and a warning and familiarize yourself with the proper action to take for each.
3) Make a Plan
Have a family emergency plan in place for all situations ahead of time. Identify multiple ways to escape from every room of your home and practice an escape route twice a year. If there are others living in your home, it’s important to identify responsibilities for each member of your family to make getting out of the home or staying in a quick and efficient process to keep everyone safe.
Another necessity is to select a safe location away from your home where your family can meet after escaping an in-home disaster such as a fire. In some instances communication can be difficult to achieve so having a safe zone where you know you can find everyone is essential.
4) Create a Support Network
This is especially important for those with special needs and disabilities. Your support network can include anyone you think you should notify or that could assist you in an Emergency situation. This could include close family members, out-of-area relatives, friends, neighbors, doctors, even organizations or your place of worship. Make sure these people are aware of your condition which includes any physical limitations and medicines you need to take. Landlines sometimes can be jammed or are down during a disaster so it’s a good idea to become familiarized with a mobile phone and text messaging capabilities.
5) Prepare a Kit
Depending on the type of disaster that has hit, you may need to survive on your own for a little while until help arrives. Make sure you have enough water and food to get you through a possible 3 days. This would include 3 gallons of water, and a three day supply of non-perishable food. Have prepared medication to last at least a week, extra glasses, hearing aids, batteries, a flashlight, can opener, extra clothing, a blanket, whistle, money, matches and any other necessities you may think you need based on your disability.
In addition to this list remember that it is extremely important to keep copies of documents such as your birth certificate, social security card, license or identification card, insurance policy, Medical cards and financial forms in your kit and readily available at all times. If you’re tech savvy or have a child or grandchild that might be, you could also download these documents on a portable flash drive to save space.
6) Knowledge of Safety Procedures
It’s always good to be prepared by knowing how to use necessary safety procedures. This could include knowing how to perform CPR on adults and infants, being aware of how and when to use a fire extinguisher, and to recognize how to attach a fire ladder. In addition to comprehending these procedures it would be a good idea to have them readily available. This would include owning a fire extinguisher, and purchasing a fire ladder for all rooms above the ground level.
7) Pet Plan
Don’t forget your beloved animals. Take your pets with you if you evacuate. However, be aware of local businesses and hotels that allow pets. Although a disaster might have hit, many places including public shelters do not permit animals due to health reasons. Prepare a list of local shelters, veterinarians or boarding facilities that may be able to take your family friend.
Disasters can be tragic. They are life-changing and most of the time unexpected. In an instant your whole family and community could be put in a very dangerous situation which is why it is very urgent that you start a plan with your family today.
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