Experts are predicting a fairly active hurricane season this year, so it’s a good time to prepare a disaster plan for your family. This is especially true for households with older adults, according to a recent report from the University of Florida. “You have to talk about it” with your family, says Linda Bobroff, a community sciences professor at the University of Florida. “Having the plan already mapped out helps” if a disaster occurs and you have to move quickly to vacate your property and get to a safe place.
So what should a disaster plan include? Bobroff makes these suggestions:
* Everyone needs a two-week supply of drinking water. Plan on one gallon of water per person per day, and even more if you have pets. If you’re storing water in bottles or jugs, make sure the caps can be easily removed by someone with arthritis.
* Your plan should include a three- to five-day supply of nonperishable food. It’s important to consider the dietary needs of older adults, such as low-sodium or high-fiber foods. Look for smaller cans of food you can eat at one meal or as a snack. And make sure you have a can opener on hand.
* Either purchase a first-aid kit or put one together yourself. Include such items as adhesive bandages, scissors, cotton balls, sterile dressings, sunscreen and medical gloves.
* Also, make sure you include items for individuals with specific medical needs. These can include prescription medications, pain relievers, extra eyeglasses, and the phone numbers and addresses of doctors and pharmacies.
For more information on disaster planning for seniors, visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy620.