As a senior citizen or family member of a loved one, planning for inclement weather such as a flood is important. The elderly are more likely to live alone, have physical immobility, or have special needs, which makes them more vulnerable than younger people when there is a flood. Therefore establishing an emergency plan ahead of time will allow your loved one to know exactly what to do if disaster strikes. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a flood:
- Have a family communication plan: Often times during a flood, the electricity may go out or phone lines may be compromised. Therefore it can be tough to get in touch with family to let them know that you are okay or if you need help.
- Keep a cell phone fully charged and only turn it on if you need to. Have back up battery packs in case your cell phone dies. If possible, download a weather app on your cell phone to track the storm. *If advanced cell phones are too much for your loved one, much simpler portable flip phones are available and will work just like a land line.
- Keep a battery powered radio to listen to local news
- Carry all family contact information. Local contacts may be affected by the flood, so have an out of town contact you can call.
- Have a Medical Plan: In the event of a flood, you may not have access to a medical facility or pharmacy.
- If you have a serious condition that requires daily doctor visits, such as chemotherapy or dialysis, consult with your doctor about an emergency back up plan.
- Always carry an updated list of your medical history including medications, dosage, doctors, etc. Include it in your disaster kit and laminate it or put it in a plastic bag so it doesn’t get wet.
- Prepare a Disaster Relief Kit: It is important to create a disaster relief kit that has everything you might need if the circumstances get dire. Items to put in your kit include:
- Food and water to last 72 hours (Prior to flood, fill up bathtubs with water in case drinking water runs out).
- Hearing aid batteries, glasses, meal replacements (Ex. shakes, granola bars)
- Insurance cards, medical history, homeowners and auto insurance, power of attorney, family contact information, and any other documents of importance. Laminate or keep these documents in a plastic bag or dry container.
- Plan to Evacuate: Should your town or neighborhood call for evacuation, do so immediately. Identify your evacuation procedure by:
- Contacting your local government to determine your evacuation zone
- Locate the closest official shelter. You can do this by visiting The American Red Cross.
Preparing for natural disasters allows families and their loved ones to have peace of mind that when disaster strikes, you will be ready. Here are some additional resources you can visit that will help you prepare: