Elderly residents are especially vulnerable in an emergency. In addition to routine preparedness preparations, elderly residents should take extra steps to ensure their safety and well-being during and after a storm or other disastrous event. This may require the assistance of a family member or caregiver. Emergency plans must fit each individual's unique circumstances.
- Follow the Five-Step Plan for at risk resident preparedness.
- Arrange for a family member, friend or neighbor to check on you after an event. If appropriate, consider giving one other person a key to your home.
- Show those who may need to assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment. Or, prepare easy to follow, written instructions.
- Have a plan to notify out-of-town family members of your situation before and after the storm.
- Have a plan to signal the need for help. Consider registering with the Vulnerable Population Registry.
- Prepare a list of important phone numbers of people you may need to contact in an emergency. Keep it near your phone, along with a copy of your personal information, which will be helpful to anyone who may be assisting you.
- For tips on how to develop an emergency plan, create an emergency kit and be informed during a disaster, visit broward.org/hurricane or ReadySouthFlorida.org.
Tips for Caregivers
In the days following a hurricane or other emergency, a caregiver may be separated from the individual they care for. Family members or other individuals or agencies may be required to step in to fill the care gap. Caregivers can facilitate this process by providing thorough information on the elderly resident’s needs.
- Prepare a written, detailed description of the kind of care the individual is accustomed to receiving.
- Include specific information about special supplies the individual may need, such as medication, extra clothing and personal hygiene or incontinence products.
- Create an hour by hour description of a typical 24-hour day, including:
- How the individual spends his or her time, and what is needed at each point in time.
- The location of equipment and supplies required to meet those needs.
- Information about the individual's eating and sleeping habits and preferences.
- Include tips for helping the individual reduce stress and remain calm.
- Does talking or singing help? Is there a special story or song?
- What possessions bring comfort (blanket, stuffed animal, etc.)?
- Where can they be found?
- When is medication needed to help calm the individual?
- Who is the individual most comfortable with if you are unavailable?
- How can they be contacted?
- Suggest a substitute caregiver in case you are unavailable or unable to provide care for an extended period of time.
Share a copy of this information with the individual’s family, neighbor or friend.