Each year, we encounter natural disasters. And since there is nothing we can do to avoid them, we have to take specific safety measures in order to prepare for them.
During these times, many adult children have to prepare for the safety of their aging parents as well. For some, it can be stressful and daunting to know that an aging loved one is alone and could face dangerous situations that put their safety at risk. It’s no wonder that searches for senior living spike dramatically before and after hurricanes, tornados, and other natural disasters.
With recent storms like Hurricane Harvey and Irma, the media has covered many devastating stories of heartache and tragedy among the storm’s victims. However, amidst the negative stories in the news, there were a lot of positive accounts resulting from proper precautionary measures and the goodwill of others.
| A HELPING HAND |
When residents from Louisville, Kentucky-based Atria Senior Living, were forced to evacuate their facility during Hurricane Irma, they were bussed to and sought refuge at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando.
Twitter came to the rescue for La Vita Bella Nursing Home’s owners in Dickinson, TX during Hurricane Harvey. When their nursing home rapidly flooded, the owners tweeted a photo of residents submerged in waist-high waters asking for help ASAP. The photo went viral and local rescue teams acted quickly to save 15 residents. All are safe now.
| EMERGENCY PLANS FOR COMMUNITIES |
Family members should find comfort knowing their loved one is in good hands at a senior living facility during a major storm. Each community should have a storm checklist in place with emergency procedures.
Here are some of the steps each staff takes before an impending natural disaster.
- Evacuation plans approved by the state
- Alternative options for temporary displacement
- 72-hour food and water supply
- Prescriptions filled in advance of the storm
- Extra medical supplies, first aid, and oxygen
- A large supply of flashlights and batteries
- Back up generators and gas in case a refuel is needed
| PERSONAL MEASURES TO BE TAKEN
Even if a loved one lives in a senior living community, it’s important to connect with them in advance to make sure they have everything they need.
- Make sure they have spoken to the staff to understand emergency procedures
- Put together an emergency kit to have in their room (separate from the facility)
- Make a list of emergency contacts both in and out of state
- Pick a couple local locations to meet outside of the senior living community should it be evacuated
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