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Facing A Storm

By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 4)  

Shelter from the Storm

Knowing where to go, whether at home, or away from, is an essential part of any good disaster plan.

The University of Wisconsin Extension Service suggests certain loved ones could be able to take refuge in a dedicated Special Needs Shelter. These dedicated areas are equipped with staff, supplies, and other devices for those people whose medical conditions deem more care than the Red Cross shelter provides. This is not for those that require hospitalization. The Extension article also suggests a caregiver make sure to pre-register for these types of safe areas, as it usually is required. A city or county emergency management agency can be of help and suggest a place near a loved oneís residence.

However, the timing and nature of the disaster will determine the shelter needed. Sometimes a storm is better waited out at home. Strong hurricane winds may not warrant an evacuation, but power may be lost for a period. A loved could be good on their own, with a team member present; or depending on their condition, both physical and emotional, may do better staying with family once the storm warning comes across the news.

When evacuation is necessary, a backup shelter plan should be arranged ahead of time. Tornados, house fires and floods can cause damage to homes and prevent someone from returning for a period of time. The best option is for a relative or close friend to help out. If that is not available, the Red Cross will provide food, beverages and blankets, but not enough cots and pillows for everyone. And, food also may not meet a loved oneís needs. Nurses will be at shelters, but only for basic first aid.

While a caregiver can hope the extreme never occurs, itís better to have some shelter strategies prepared just in case.

Necessities

Stay at home supplies

If the disaster turns out to be a mere thunderstorm, but the electricity shorts, this can be just as frightening and confusing for a loved one as a full-blown evacuation. Sometimes even more prep is needed for those times or for instances when help cannot arrive for a few hours or days and a loved one is stranded. Here is a list the National Administration on Aging offers for home supplies:

  • Enough water to last 3 to 6 days (one gallon per person, per day)

  • Enough food for the same amount of time; non-perishables recommended, along with a hand-operated can opener

  • Flashlight

  • Portable radio

  • Extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Light sticks

  • Waterproof matches

 

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