Advice for Seniors: Nine Steps to Take Now to Safely Survive an Emergency

Jul 9, 2024 | Aging Life Care, Elder Care

By Janet D’Agostino, MA, MSN, RN Clinical Supervisor

You have been watching the Weather on the TV for hours now. They encourage you to evacuate because they expect your neighborhood to become impassable due to high water, a snowstorm, or the possibility of losing your electricity for days.

Countless people think those scenes we see on TV are someplace far away, and if it happens to other people, it will never happen to me. Unfortunately, it does; no one can ever predict the unpredictable events of Mother Nature.

So, what do you do, and how do you do it? You heard of the old motto be prepared like a good boy scout. There is truth to this. Being prepared and having a plan long before something happens is one of the most important things you should do. Everyone needs a plan, including you, a spouse, or other family members.

Having a plan saves time, money, and mistakes that can be disasters by themselves. You should have a family meeting to plan what you must do if you must evacuate or “hunker down” in your home.

Nine Steps for a Safe Plan:

1.) Form an emergency kit and date it. Check it yearly and replace any items that are faulty or out of date.

  • batteries
  • radio
  • first aid supplies
  • water filtration tables
  • Medical papers, medicine lists, insurance cards (Medicare, Medicaid cards), and other insurance cards.
  • Medications
  • Flashlight
  • Water—one gallon per person per day
  • Cell phone charger and your routine cell phone
  • Pet food
  • Food supplies and utensils
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Important legal papers
  • Gas can

2.) Create a list of people to call in case of an emergency or required evacuation.

3.) Plan your evacuation routes. Outline where you can go. Create multiple plans since the first choice may not be feasible due to high water, blocked roads, etc.

4.) Notify the necessary individuals about where you are going and when you are leaving.

5.) Disabled – Be sure to take your mobility equipment with you; cane, walker, rollator, wheelchair. Have a list of those willing to assume care or help you.

6.) Know where you can be certain you can go. If a shelter is your only option, know where it is and how to get there. Also, know if they take animals.

7.) Have the name(s) of individuals who can take you with them if you or a family member cannot drive.

8.) There is safety in numbers; do not go alone if you can prevent it.

9.) Put away lawn items that can be a projectile damaging your home or your neighbor’s property at the first mention of an impending nature event.

A prepared person is less likely to get caught in a situation they cannot escape, avoiding loss of life and minimizing property damage. We hope these tips help you in a time of unexpected crisis.

Family members and caregivers often contact us when there’s a crisis or immediate need for help. If an event has triggered concern for your loved one’s care, don’t hesitate to contact our professional care management team for assistance.

About The Option Group: Founded in 2010, The Option Group’s compassionate team of experienced Certified Life Care Managers and Educational Advocates provides services for families, their loved ones, medical professionals, and professional family advisors in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The firm understands the challenges of caring for individuals who need assistance throughout their lifespan due to aging, dementia, disability, or serious illness. Our skilled providers possess over 100 years of combined experience navigating the healthcare maze and accessing hundreds of resources. The Option Group helps families spend quality time with their loved ones, providing clear choices that lead to better care. For more information, visit www.theoptiongroup.net or call 410-667-0266 (MD) or 717-287-9900 / 610-885-8899/ 215-896-6756 (PA)or 302-858-6449 (DE). For Minor & Young Adult Life Care Management or Educational Services, call Mary Jo Siebert at 410-967-0122 or 443-318-4244.