ARTICLES / General /
Hurricane Preparedness for Caregivers /
Hurricane season is here again.
Individuals who are caring for loved ones must
plan as far ahead as possible. Regardless
of how many hurricane seasons weathered, current
knowledge is literally a lifesaver.
The season lasts from June 1st to November 30th.
Longtime residents living along the Atlantic and
Gulf coasts have the dates memorized, but even
those who have been through many cycles should
look at each season individually.
If you are in an evacuation zone, your supplies
should be portable and manageable.
Depending on the health condition of your loved
one, you may already have information on where
to go. Ventilator dependent patients who
must go through storms at the hospital must find
out which supplies they have to bring.
Supplies like gauze pads and other day-to-day
items may not be available, since it is not a
regular admission. Loved ones who are told
to go to the hospital may only be kept for the
duration of the storm. Other facilities
will have to be found if a home cannot be
returned to immediately.
Time spent in shelters can be trying, especially
for caregivers who have loved ones who are
memory challenged. Having items that will
entertain your loved one will help. In
addition, consider “making friends” with as many
people as possible to divert both of you.
If the loved one has hearing difficulty, bring
earbuds or headphones along to allow higher
volumes to be used. Shelters can be filled
to capacity with a variety of people who are
used to different schedules. Even a
hurricane cannot deter them from their routines.
Patience and tolerance can be your most
frequently used “supplies” at a shelter.
Special needs shelters are determined by the
county, and registration is also required.
As with any shelter, taking along all
medications is a must. Prepare a list of
medications, dosages and other medical facts
like allergies and have it laminated. The
list can be kept with the medications for quick
reference if needed.
Most special needs shelters require everyone to
bring their own supplies, including bedding.
Arrive as soon as you are aware you must
evacuate to a shelter rather than wait until the
last minute. The storm determines when
transportation to the shelter or hospital is
shut down. Having supplies packed and
ready to go will allow you to leave immediately.