The 2013 hurricane season is almost here. It starts on Saturday, June 1 and runs through Saturday, Nov. 30. Getting prepared for potential storms and other emergency disasters is important for everyone in the Northern Virginia area, senior citizens included. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are encouraging people to create emergency preparedness kits now in case of a flood, hurricane, fire or even a terrorist attack. An emergency supply kit can help to ensure comfort and survival for you, your loved ones and their residential home care providers.
Creating a Kit
Make plans for a lack of food, water and electricity for a minimum of three days. Keep in mind that stores and emergency medical facilities might be unavailable for a few days, so gather the most important items together ahead of time. Some people create two kits; one designed for staying put and one that’s waterproof and easy to tote along in case you have to evacuate. Put them in a convenient place that’s not out in the open.
Add basic emergency supplies such as:
- Flashlights and batteries
- Portable radio and batteries
- Non-perishable food
- Dust masks
- At least three gallons of water per person
- First aid kit
- Printed local street map
- A wrench and a screwdriver
- Signal whistle
- Pet supplies if necessary
- Trash bags and hand sanitizer or towelettes
- Spare hearing aid batteries
- Medication and necessary medical supplies or equipment
- A copy of insurance and identification documents
- A list of allergies and life-threatening medical conditions
- A light blanket
Making Emergency Plans
Discuss in advance where to go and whom to contact after evacuation. Make a list of necessary phone numbers, including how to contact your home caregiver if there’s an emergency. If there are people in your household with special needs or mobility issues, take these factors into account. If there is no power, will they be able to get around if you leave? Elevators and stairs may present special challenges. Is there an automatic generator installed for people using heart-related or respiratory equipment? Keep in mind that electronic access to bank accounts and fueling stations will probably be limited.