While Hurricane Florence is not currently expected to strike Florida with its fearsome winds and torrential rains, anyone on the east and south coast knows that tropical storms can take a path that no one expects. If the storm stays on course, it will hit the Carolinas by later this week. The governor of Florida, however, is warning Floridians to still prepare for potential landfall.
Should Florence pass Florida by, there are two more storms behind her, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that even more form as the hurricane season runs its course through November. Preparation is certainly important for anyone, but may be even more important for seniors who have mobility issues, chronic health conditions or limited resources.
The following are safety tips meant for seniors who may be facing the danger of an oncoming hurricane. (Read more after the infographic.)
Make sure that all medications are refilled as soon as they are gone. In the event that the power goes out, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to get a prescription refilled. If you are forced to evacuate, a new pharmacy may not be able to contact your home pharmacy for information.
If a storm is imminent, you may want to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about refilling a medication early so that you are sure to have enough in supply.
Many people don’t think to remove medications from pill containers and put them back in their prescription bottles. Consider that you may have to evacuate and you may be separated from loved ones who know how to administer your medication.
It’s actually illegal to travel with any prescription medication that is not in its proper container.
When you are packing to potentially evacuate in the face of an impending storm, take the time to pack all your medical supplies in the same container. You can always utilize them as you need and then put them back.
It may be a bit inconvenient in the days leading up to the evacuation, but you are less likely to forget an essential item in the midst of your hurrying to leave if you have packed ahead of time.
Make a checklist of all of the things you need to take with you. Check off those items as you pack them and load them. Make another list of things you need to do before you leave. You may want to unplug your appliances, turn off the water to your home and more depending on where and how you live.
When you do these things with a clear head, you are less likely to forget to take something or turn something off.
Before you leave, give your anticipated location post-evacuation to a family member, friend or neighbor. Create a phone tree if need be.
You may have very limited phone service, and the possibility is great that you may not be able to make multiple phone calls.
If Hurricane Katrina taught us anything about pets, it’s that we need to be prepared for them in the possibility of an evacuation. You may want to board your pets safely ahead of time with a trusted facility or family member.
If you plan on evacuating with your pets, you will need to be sure you are evacuating to a place they are welcome. It’s far easier to make these plans ahead of time so you don’t have to worry as you are running out the door. Remember, hotels are not required to board pets during hurricanes.
No one wants to think that the worst will happen, but it may. If you are injured and cannot communicate effectively or at all, you will want someone who helps you to know about any medical conditions you have.
If you are diabetic, write it with a nontoxic permanent marker on your forearm (Sharpies are nontoxic). If you have a heart condition, write it down. You may also want to write the phone number and name of your child or a trusted family member. Instead of writing on your arm, you could write a note, put it in a plastic bag and pin it to the inside of a jacket or slip it into your pants pocket.
It’s important to have supplies on hand should you decide to ride out the storm at home. There is always the possibility that power will go out for several days or weeks. Make sure you have enough bottled water and non-perishable food items.
You’ll want a full tank of gas in every vehicle you have, candles, a lighter, and flashlights with fresh batteries. Puck (or tap) lights can be purchased from your local home improvement store and placed around your home. Don’t wait until the last minute to go out and purchase supplies or you may find that everyone else has beat you to it.
Have a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand. You should have wound dressings, ointment and over the counter pain medication in your kit. You may also want to have a small pair of scissors, latex gloves and other supplies as dictated by any unique medical needs.
Whether you are evacuating or remaining in place, you will want to protect your home. If you are physically unable to perform the work, hire someone to do it for you. You may not be able to save your home from all damage, but you might save it from being destroyed.
If you are injured while evacuating because of or during a hurricane, you may be entitled to compensation if your injury was the result of someone’s negligence or error. You need an attorney who is willing to fight for your rights.
Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation and take the first step toward financial recovery.