Emergencies can occur at any time in a variety of circumstances. That’s why having a preparedness plan ready is vital. Pegasus home care professionals in Altadena and elsewhere have compiled these tips to assist you in achieving disaster readiness.
Although any kind of disaster can happen anywhere, some are more unlikely than others. No one can be prepared for each and every possibility. Your first step, therefore, is deciding the most likely kind of emergency you’ll encounter.
Potential emergency situations include:
- Power failures
There are others, like a terrorist attack or a nuclear explosion, that are infrequent events. Those are more a matter of survival planning.
In California, earthquakes, fires, or floods can occur without warning and are more likely occurrences than hurricanes or tornadoes. Droughts occur slowly, so don’t necessarily qualify as an immediate emergency. Power failures are generally short-lived but constitute an emergency for individuals who depend on medical equipment, such as oxygen generators.
A preparedness plan starts with awareness of a possible disaster and how it might affect you. Then you implement steps to reduce its effect on you and your family members. Your plan should also include what you need to do to cope with the aftermath.
How To Survive A Disaster Is Part Of Preparedness Planning
In many disasters, you will potentially need to leave your home, if not your community. Think about how you will go. Roads might be impassable, or you might not be able to buy fuel for your vehicle.
Find out where the evacuation shelters, if any, are located. Ask ahead of time if the shelters will allow you to bring pets. Find out if you’ll be able to hook up medical equipment.
Think about what you’ll need to take with you. You will need survival supplies for yourself, children, your senior loved ones, and other family members. If you have pets, your planning will have to include them.
The American Red Cross has prepared “templates” that you can use to organize your planning. They are available in English and Spanish. There is a “special needs” section where you can record items for your senior loved one.
Everyone involved needs to know what the plan is. They all need to know their role. Then everyone must practice.
Prepare A Kit of Emergency Supplies
Lots of suggestions are available for what you should include in an emergency kit. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), your emergency kit should contain the following basics:
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- A weather radio
- First aid kit
- Copies of important documents
- Food and water for ten days
- Medications and copies of prescriptions
Essential documents to consider putting in your emergency kit include:
- Birth certificates and adoption records
- Marriage and divorce paperwork
- Social security cards and info
- Driver’s license
- Bank account and other financial account numbers
- Titles, deeds, vehicle pink slips
- Insurance information
This list is just a sampling. In deciding what to include, consider how you would prove your identity. Think about how you could obtain money or medical care in an unfamiliar location.
Most preparedness advice is to have emergency kits in each vehicle and in your home. If you’re responsible for family members who don’t live with you, put kits in their homes as well. Putting a customized kit in an accessible area for your senior loved one can help them survive until help arrives.
Customize Your Emergency Supplies
As you go through all the recommendations, you may start to feel overwhelmed. There’s good reason for that. For example, food and water for everyone for ten days takes up a lot of room.
Then there are all the extras like clothing. It all needs easily accessible storage space that you don’t always have available. It can also get expensive.
One solution is to prepare three-day survival kits for your vehicles and home. You can make those reasonably compact. Your preparedness plan needs to include where you’ll go for everything else after the three days.
If you have space in your home or another easily accessible location, then start accumulating enough for ten days. You can take time to build up your emergency supplies. Some items will need to be rotated with fresh products periodically.
Spend a little time observing what everyone needs on a daily basis. Your emergency kit should fit your family’s needs. You can use a standard checklist when starting, then customize it.
Don’t Plan On Immediate Rescue Services
Regardless of how basic or small your emergency kits are, prepare them. You cannot depend on rescue agencies getting to you promptly. You have to help yourself and your family.
Having a preparedness plan in place can make the difference in survival for you and your family. Knowing that you’re prepared can ease worry and anxiety about what to do in an emergency. Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our home care services in Altadena and our other locations are tailored to fit individual requirements. Count on us to help you with preparedness planning and emergency kits for your senior loved one.