We are happy to welcome guest author Corrine Markey of The Seniors Answer to share tips for this year's hurricane season:
After 25 years of not having a major hurricane hit South Florida, Irma came with a vengeance in 2017. We were lucky last year but may not be so lucky this year. Don’t be caught off guard, get prepared now. All year long you need to have certain general supplies in the home just in case you lose power. These supplies must be on hand before a hurricane is forecasted as supplies run out quickly. You need two plans A) Non-evacuation and B) Evacuation.
1. Right NOW
Use your cell phone, camera or video camera to take photos of all of your belongings – room by room.
2. From the First Forecast of a Hurricane
- Keep a cell phone on your charger; consider buying a mobile charger
- Have a battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Check your prescriptions and order if needed – once a hurricane warning is issued you are able to renew any prescription for 30 days
- Fill the car with gas and check all fluids
- Get extra cash – enough to last three weeks
- Freeze a glass of water then place a quarter on top. Return glass to the freezer. If evacuation is required, upon return the placement of the quarter will provide an idea of how long there was no power so that you can dispose of food if needed. When in doubt, dispose of the food.
- Decide what is important to keep from getting water damage (photos, small artwork, jewelry), put those items in the dishwasher which is air-tight and thus water-tight, remove racks for more storage room
- Place the important papers listed below in one or more large zip-lock plastic bags
- Copy of homeowner’s and auto policies
- Medical policies and cards, including Medicare card
- Contact information: family, doctors, insurance agents, attorneys
- Serial numbers of items such as a pacemaker
- Photos/video of home belongings
- Pet photo, license and medical records
3. General Supplies for All Year Long
- Flashlights with NEW batteries (generally D) - you may want a ‘lantern’ type LED light to that you do not have to use your hand to hold it and thus will free up that hand.
- Battery operated radio with extra batteries
- Extra set of keys
- Bottle of hand sanitizer
- Plastic cups, plates, and utensils
- Manual can opener
- Pre-moistened towelettes
- Mosquito repellent and sunscreen
- Water purification kit (includes chlorine and iodine)
- First-aid kit with aspirin, antibiotic cream, antacids, anti-diarrheal, bandages, adhesive tape
- Medic-alert tags
4. Impending Hurricane
- Fill up the bathtub with tap water so that you have water to use
- Move indoor furniture away from windows and glass doors
- Bring inside everything from your patio, balcony, terraces – eg. furniture, umbrellas, bicycles, potted plants, etc.
- Note a gas grill can be a problem: It is NOT safe to bring a propane tank inside your home as it could explode or leak; experts say the best route is to put it against a shed on the side sheltered from the storm or a retaining wall and using a stake to keep it in place – never lay the tank on its side
- Experienced users should put fresh gas in the chain saw and test run it or buy a bow saw and spare blades, and get sturdy work gloves, other tools in good working order
- Trim tree branches
5. Hurricane Plans
Plan A – Non-evacuation
If you want to wait out the storm you could be without power, services, and supplies for two weeks. Therefore, you will need a two weeks supply of bottled water, non-perishable food, and medications with directions. In the heat of the summer having a generator is very important for an older person. If the power goes out, turn off the stove and oven and pull the plug on the toaster, iron or any other mall appliance that will turn on once the power is restored.
Plan B – Evacuation
If you plan to evacuate – very important for those living on or near the water – you will need supplies for three days. You will also need to have a written and confirmed plan of where you will go and how you will get there. The plan should include the name and contact information of the designated person who has agreed (in writing) to ‘take you in’ and confirms they have a generator. If you have others in your household that will need to go with you, that must be agreed to by the designated person as well. Likewise with pets, if the designated person is not able to take your pets you need to know where you will take them – again a written document – from the person or place who will take your pets is critical.
The plan should include an airline plan if you will be flying out of the area or a driving plan (including routes) if you will be driving out of the area. Plan for long delays as everyone else will be evacuating too. Make sure you have food and supplies in the vehicle for three days.
Make sure ALL windows and doors are locked.
You will need a three days’ supply of bottled water, non-perishable food, and medications with directions. Also, pack extra eyeglasses and batteries for personal items such as hearing aids. You will want to bring with you linens including towels and sheets and items such as adult diapers.
Keep yourself and your family safe and sound. Do not wait, make these preparations now.
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The Seniors Answer specializes in helping seniors stay safe and have a team devised to tackle and manage concerns that seniors may have. We are experts in a wide range of life management issues that can help seniors make sure their golden years stay golden.
If you have questions or need information about your loved one's life management issues don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love helping our clients get the information and assistance they need from personal issues to daily money management, home management and more. Call me at 305-646-1833 or email me.