If you have an elderly parent, a disabled friend, or are yourself experiencing chronic illness or dependent on medical care or technology…here is some food for thought when thinking about the upcoming season:
Do you realize emergency shelters (and special needs shelters) are the last resort option for evacuating? Shelters can only handle small % of residents, and individuals needing care or assistance are not really appropriate for shelters.
Do you know pet shelters are extremely limited in our area? Have you made arrangements for your pets, and stocked up supplies for them as well?
Would your elderly client or loved one be comfortable sleeping on a cot with hundreds of strangers nearby? Would he be able to take care of himself at home, if without electricity or services for ten days or more?
Is your friend who requires Oxygen or nebulizer treatments registered with the power company? Do they understand this does not guarantee power but helps companies prioritize?
Do you know the details of how your client’s assisted living deals with evacuation? How will they let you know what is happening? If they are in a non. evac zone what is their plan for other potential natural or manmade disasters? What do their generators power? Will they take in other residents/serve as an evac. site for other facilities?
Do you feel your loved one would be safe remaining at home, even during minor storms or disruptions (do they rely on services like Meals on Wheels, caregivers, transportation?; are they mildly confused?, do they have multiple medical conditions?)?
These are some questions to get you thinking about vulnerability during storms and other disasters. I will blog later on some resources, things to do to prepare, and how we help clients who are elderly or disabled to ensure the best possible plan in face of danger.
See also our disaster prep. info: http://www.agingwisely.com/successful-disaster-preparedness/