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Hurricane Preparedness for Caregivers

By Angela Medieros, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 3)
 

Therapy pets are allowed in special needs shelters, but not household pets.  If your loved one cannot be separated from their pet, speak to your local Humane Society about qualifying them as a therapy pet.  Last minute arguing with shelters or loved ones may keep everyone in an unsafe situation.  Storms can turn on a dime, as we saw with Hurricane Andrew.  They can also appear to “last forever” as Hurricane Wilma did.  Everything you do to prepare is an investment in everyone’s safety.

ITEMS ON HAND

Take a look at your pantry.  People who are not accustomed to canned food will keep little of it around.  The familiar hurricane phrase “We’ll just eat sandwiches” is unrealistic.  By the time the storm is over, everyone will look for meals to return to normal.  If power is on, it’s not a problem.  When there’s no power, caregivers must use a creative hand to keep themselves happy and distressed while feeding loved ones.

Consider adding a canned dish to meal offerings before it is necessary to use them.  Corned beef hash, canned chicken or tuna and other “hurricane foods” as a temporary part of normal diet will help everyone get used to them.  This cuts down on those refusing to eat until the power goes on.  Every couple of weeks, have a “hurricane meal night.”  It can help keep the season in the “memory loop” of all concerned, but still be a fun experience.  Caregivers will be able to determine which types and brands of canned goods will be eaten by everyone.

EXTRA HINTS FOR CAREGIVERS

Consider purchasing caregiver and loved one medallions from the Alzheimer’s Association to wear in the event of emergency.  You may do everything you can to avoid separation from your loved one, but the information that can be obtained via the service’s 800 number is a backup.

Precautions are taken in shelter facilities to ensure safety for everyone.  However, keeping valuables out of sight and on your person is the first safety measure.  A checklist of the items you are carrying will prevent you from worrying about loss, but the list should remain in your possession at all times.

Examine whether a safety deposit box would be a useful investment versus a “home safe.”  Papers and other valuables should be plastic sealed in either case. 

 

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