Storm Preparedness For Seniors
Fall is a favorite season for its beloved activities — mulling cider, carving pumpkins and cooking a grand November feast. Fall also brings a chill to the air and the promise of the winter weather to come.
For older adults, fall is the ideal time to make the necessary preparations for staying safe when winter weather strikes. To ensure that you’re ready, consider the following areas of focus.
If you live in your own home rather than in a senior living community, you’ll need to keep an eye on the weather. When a winter storm threatens, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that you monitor radio or TV reports about the situation in your area. If you use a smartphone, you can download the FEMA app, which will provide you with National Weather Service alerts for five locations throughout the United States.
Take some time to consider how you would handle various scenarios; for example, what if you’re home alone during an extended power outage? How will you communicate with family members or neighbors if phone service goes out? Winter storms can pose significant dangers for seniors who live in isolation.
Accommodating Special Needs
If you’re hearing- or vision-impaired or have other special needs, make sure you have a support network of loved ones and friends who can help you should a severe winter storm strike. By monitoring weather conditions, you can determine whether you can remain in your home or if you should try to seek shelter elsewhere.
Preparing Your Home
Older adults in senior living communities can feel confident that team members will prepare the buildings and grounds. If you live in your own home, you’ll need to take measures to keep your home safe and warm. Consider whether you can remove snow from your sidewalk and driveway or if you’ll need assistance, and determine your plan for restocking groceries and medications as needed should the roads be impassable for several days.
Assembling an Emergency Kit
By preparing an emergency kit in advance of a winter storm, you can ensure that you will have all your essential items together for sheltering in place or evacuating if necessary. Consider including the following items:
- Several days’ worth of water, medications and non-perishable foods.
- A battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
- A first aid kit.
- Cash and copies of important documents, such as your medical insurance cards.
- Hygiene items, including contact lens solution, toothpaste and toothbrush.
- An extra set of keys to your home and car.
- Any medical devices you require, along with chargers and batteries.
Consider a Maintenance-Free Community
Preparing for winter storms requires a significant investment of time, money and effort. By moving to a maintenance-free senior living community, you can feel confident that when disaster strikes, your needs will be met.
Edgehill maintains a natural disaster preparedness program, and all team members train for storms and other emergencies. From assisting residents with clearing their patios to de-icing walkways and keeping generators up to code, Edgehill staff work throughout the year to ensure that the community is prepared for adverse weather events.
When a winter storm strikes, will you be ready?