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Hurricane Preparedness for Caregivers

By Angela Medieros, Staff Writer

(Page 1 of 3)
 

Hurricane season has made its entrance 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.

LOCATION, LOCATION

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. 

 

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