Every June marks the beginning of hurricane season on the Atlantic Coast. That doesn’t just mean Florida, but other Gulf of Mexico states and the whole Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The season officially lasts until the end of November.
The threat of a single hurricane is bad enough. But for seniors, hurricane-related challenges over the six-month period can present a range of additional issues. With a little bit of preparation, however, aging adults can be ahead of the game and ready for almost any scenario.
While basic food and water instructions, such as one to two weeks supply of non-perishable food items and water, are incredibly important and commonly understood there is more to be done. Let us share other tips about how seniors can prepare that might not be as widely known. Whether you are a senior or caring for a senior loved one, implementing these tips is an important step to ensuring safety this summer!
1. Pack a Suitcase.
Keep a lightweight suitcase or duffel bag ready to go in case an evacuation order is issued and you have to leave your home in short order. Flooding, storm surge, or just being in the direct path of a mega-storm with 90 mph or more winds can prompt public safety officials to issue a blanket evacuation order for huge amounts of people.
Put several pairs of comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, rain gear, and a flashlight with extra batteries in your suitcase. You can do this today. Keep your suitcase in a familiar place and be ready to grab it on a moment’s notice.
2. Ready the Emergency Kit.
It’s a good idea for seniors to keep an emergency prep kit next to their emergency suitcase. These can be obtained from the American Red Cross at little or no cost, and include survival items like disinfectant sanitizer, bandages, eye protection and a waterproof container to store prescription medicines. Do not forget to take stock of your medicine. What do you have on hand and what do you need to order with your doctor to be prepared?
3. Develop a Safe Room.
In the event that an evacuation order is issued but flooding or debris makes leaving your home impossible, what would you do? It’s recommended by industry experts that you identify a “safe room.” Safe rooms provide the most protection from falling debris, like tree branches, and flooding, and ideally a clear path to an exit. Be sure to tell your loved ones or agent under Florida durable power of attorney where you plan to be during the storm.
4. Create a Support Network.
Create a support network of at least three people who you trust and have the ability to check-in on you before, during and after a storm. This can be family members, friends or neighbors. As we said before, it should include your agent under your Florida durable power of attorney. The important thing is that you come up with a plan and several modes of communication for this time.
We know this article may raise more questions than answers. We want you to be as prepared as possible at any age. Do not hesitate to ask us questions on what you need to be prepared with your Florida estate plan today.