How to Keep Your Seniors Safe in a Hurricane

Hurricane season is here and we have vital tips for keeping your seniors safe.

1.  Follow Evacuation Orders

Choosing to stay could put your elderly parents’ lives in danger.  Local officials want people in safe zones  so they won’t have to be

Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico near i...
Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico near its peak Category 5 intensity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

rescued as services dwindle.   You could also be risking the lives of your rescuers should your situation deteriorate.

2. Plan Your Destination Ahead of Time

Have a place to go to and make sure you know how to get there.  You also need to figure  out how much time it will take, especially if traffic will be heavy. Staying with relatives or friends who are out of the hurricane zone is a good idea.  That’s because motels will most likely be filled up.

A public shelter is not a good place for elderly people to wait out a storm.  Katrina taught us that.

Older people need a quiet environment  and shouldn’t be subjected to the noise and confusion of living amongst   strangers during such difficult times.   It will be challenging enough living with relatives or in a motel.

3. Also Make Plans for Your Senior’s Pets

Don’t forget your mom or dad’s best friend.  Dogs and cats are not welcome in public shelters and must be taken to special pet shelters.  Becoming separated from a loving pet  can create even more stress for your worried parent.   With  a little planning that is one problem which can be avoided.

4. Fill Your Gas Tank and Have Cash on Hand

Running out of gas is the last problem you need.  Getting stranded on the side of the interstate with an elderly person in a steaming hot car could become deadly if your parent has serious health challenges.

You will need cash.  We have become too dependent  upon credit cards but the electricity may be out for days and that means ATM machines will not be working.  Have enough cash on hand to get your through a week or two.  You will literally be living off this money.

5. Keep Prescriptions Packed and Organized

Have a list of all your parent’s prescriptions and refill them early if you think you may be running out.  Make sure all the bottles and prescription tray boxes are packed and ready to go.  Be prepared with an ice chest if their meds have to be refrigerated.

6. Keep All Documents and Important Papers in a Safe Place

This should go without saying, but I have personally experienced the frustration of  losing vital papers during the flood we had two

View of the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina taken...
View of the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, as seen from a NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter aircraft before the storm made landfall on the United States Gulf Coast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

years ago.  We lost my father’s will and cemetery deeds when our basement flooded.    My grandfather had bought the  plots in 1919 and they were supposed to last us at least one more generation.

Put everything is a safety deposit box.  You might include all your insurance papers as well as  photographs of your house and contents.  Take copies of the insurance papers with you so you will know whom to contact for making claims.

The Girl Scout motto, “Always Be Prepared” certainly applies to hurricane season.  By planning ahead of time you can avoid a lot of the problems and headaches your older seniors shouldn’t have to go through.

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