Florida Emergency Management: Hurricane Planning for Seniors


Florida Emergency Management: Be Prepared, Be Safe

Every year, we spend a great deal of time and effort helping our clients prepare for hurricane season. It’s easy for people to become complacent about preparations when they haven’t experienced the devastating effects of a natural disaster. Unfortunately, older adults and those with health problems disproportionately suffer when such disasters occur. It is vital to be prepared, and we’re here to help!

Steps for Florida Emergency Management and Preparedness:

  1. Put together your emergency supply kit. Check our list here (you can download/print and share it) and consider your specific needs as you prepare your supplies. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll be able to get supplies (for even a couple weeks after a storm) or that services can reach you. Key items for elders to check on: medication supplies and medical equipment (power source/backup and registering with the power company for priority service due to medical needs).
  2. Assess the overall situation/ability to manage in emergencies. Many of our clients live safely at home with the help of support systems such as our home caregivers, meal services, medical equipment, etc. When those support services are unavailable, the client may quickly be unsafe even without the additional hazards of an emergency. Our team does such an analysis for clients and comes up with alternative plans to provide greater safety. It is also important to consider the physical environment in this assessment (location/flood zone, storm readiness of the house–and how it can be modified to be more secure, generators, etc.). Read more specific tips for families and caregivers to consider. If a client has Alzheimer’s or a family is caring for someone with dementia, please read our important tips in Disaster Management for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.
  3. Assess and adjust plans for the circumstances. Fortunately, with hurricanes, there is some warning time to consider (and adjust) plans. This is also the time to check supplies and confirm all plans…don’t make any assumptions!

As you prepare, be sure to read our “Top Five Hurricane Planning Mistakes” so you don’t make them!

In our next post, we’ll paint a more thorough picture of what is needed in special needs emergency management/preparedness so that you can help your loved ones with realistic planning. We’ll give some insiders’ insights into special needs shelters (and why they are NOT the answer to your hurricane planning) and alternative options.

If we can help you with hurricane planning or in-home care needs, contact us online or at 727-447-5845. Now’s the time to prepare!