We have previously provided our senior safety tips for hurricane season for elders in Florida and other vulnerable areas. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Debby recently provided Floridians with a clear reminder of how much damage even minor storms can do. Many factors play in to how a storm affects an area. Flooding, such as in Tropical Storm Debby, is one of the big concerns for many areas in Tampa Bay and Pinellas County, Florida. Such flooding and storm damage can affect property, close services, shut off power and other utilities and create many issues for everyone, vulnerable elders especially.
If you have a loved one who lives in an area prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, it is vital to ensure he or she has a plan in place. Weather is unpredictable and the best plans cannot ensure complete safety, but can help to minimize risk. If you have not already downloaded it, we invite you to grab a copy of our disaster preparedness checklist for elders and those with special needs:
EasyLiving also offers help to clients who need assistance shopping for supplies and putting together their hurricane kits. Our Aging Wisely geriatric care managers are also offering a Hurricane Preparedness Package this season for individuals and families who would like to have professional assistance putting together a comprehensive plan for the season.
Two areas which we always emphasize to elders and their families (and which Debby brought to light again):
- Be prepared to be cut off from services and supplies for periods of time. A Tropical Storm such as Debby resulted in loss of power, flooding and damage to infrastructure. A major hurricane often involves long periods without electric and difficulty getting new supplies. Gas becomes a scarce resource and damage may keep supplies from being brought in to the area. Even when emergency supplies can be brought in by national organizations, a senior with limited mobility or health issues may have trouble getting to distribution points.
- You cannot count on normal services or supports, so it is important to assess how the elder can get along without these for periods of time. For example, home health services, meal deliveries, and many businesses will likely be affected by any type of major storm.
Contact us if you have questions about senior safety needs during hurricane season, general senior safety or home care/elder care assistance: 727-448-0900.