Disaster Preparedness for Seniors

May 24, 2011

With Florida’s hurricane season just around the corner, it is vital for seniors and those with special needs to be especially prepared.  The many recent natural disasters in the news have highlighted how devastating such disasters can be, especially for individuals with limited mobility and health problems.  Those who are especially at risk during natural disasters include anyone: who relies on others for care and assistance, is dependent on medical technology, has breathing/respiratory issues, suffers from cardiac issues, those with memory disorders/Alzheimer’s Disease.  Read our Nine Tips for Seniors to Prepare for Hurricane Season.

The St. Petersburg Times puts together a wonderful hurricane guide each year-check out the St. Pete Times Tampa Bay Hurricane Guide for 2011.

Here are some interesting facts about hurricanes and disaster preparedness:

  • The first use of a proper name for a tropical cyclone was by an Australian forecaster, who named tropical cyclones after politicians he didn’t like.  Storms are named for ease of communication, especially as different storms can overlap.
  • A tropical storm is a low-pressure, tropical system with maximum sustained winds near the center between 39 and 73 mph.  It becomes a hurricane when maximum sustained winds near the center reach 74 mph.
  • A hurricane or tropical storm watch is issued when a storm is possible within 36 hours. A warning is issued when those same conditions are expected within 24 hours.
  • Commercial bottled water can last indefinitely, though the taste may change slightly from exposure to heat/light.  If you fill empty bottles from a cooler or the tap, the water is best consumed within a day or two if it has been at room temperature. It’s good for two weeks if refrigerated.
  • NEVER touch a downed power line, never drive over a downed line and never touch anything in contact with a downed line. If a power line falls on a vehicle, do not touch the vehicle or the line; stay inside the vehicle until help arrives. Post-storm debris can hide fallen power lines.
  • Read some common hurricane myths here.

*Gathered from Tbo.com & St. Pete Times Hurricane Guide 2011 articles

We will be featuring additional articles about home health care emergency preparations and important information for frail, elderly individuals and those with special needs.

View our Senior Disaster Preparedness Checklist and CONTACT US if we can help you prepare for hurricane season, purchase supplies or if you have questions about home care during hurricane season and natural disasters.

Topics: Home Care, Caregivers, Assisted Living, Care Management, Financial/Legal, News & Local Resources

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