The experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommend assembling a home emergency kit that includes:
- One gallon of water for each person living in the home.
- At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food items and a manual can opener.
- Paper plates, cups, silverware, and napkins.
- If your senior loved one has a pet, keep an additional supply of their food and water on hand too.
- Flashlights and extra batteries for it.
- At least one week’s worth of all medications. Remember to keep the emergency kit updated as prescriptions are discontinued or new ones are added. (Note: Many health care professionals recommend you always have a one month supply of medications in your home.)
- Copies of important documents in a waterproof container.
- Blankets, pillows, and a folding cot or lounge chair.
- A working, easy-to-operate fire extinguisher.
- Cleaning supplies such as bleach wipes and other disinfectants.
- Plastic or latex gloves and a mask to cover the mouth and nose.
- Baby wipes and other necessary personal care items.
- First Aid kit including a whistle to use to call for help.
- A hand crank weather radio or one that is battery operated with an extra set of batteries.
Experts advise seniors to keep their emergency kit in the area of the home they are most likely to go to seek shelter. It might be the basement or an interior bathroom or closet.
Finally, be sure you and your older loved one review what to do in case a disaster strikes their neighborhood. It will be important for you to know what their plan is so you can locate them quicker afterward.
To learn more about preparing a senior family member for a natural disaster, visit Be Informed for information and recommendations.