Remember the floods that devastated Nashville, TN this past spring? Have you thought about how a disaster that would impact your caregiving? If you haven’t, you need to, and the good news is that there’s a terrific resource to help you plan for a natural or man-made disaster.
The first thing you need to realize is that disasters happen in the blink of an eye. As one 76-year-old survivor of the Nashville flood said, “that water came up so fast, and it just changed everything,” including her ability to care for her beloved pet and access prescription medications.
Caregivers get so focused on the day-to-day that considering something disaster preparedness is not on the to-do list. But it’s not that hard to do with the help of a guide published through the American Red Cross. “Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors,” actually is applicable to any caregiving situation.
The authors banded together after a massive ice storm struck the greater Rochester, New York area in December, 2003. The storm left people stranded in homes that were without power for days. Have you thought about how to prepare for that type of situation, with extra medications, food and heat sources on hand? These 12 seniors lived through that disaster and published the booklet to help other people prepare for future disasters.
You may be completely absorbed in caring for your loved one, but it is necessary to stop and consider what would happen to you—and to your patient—in the event of an evacuation from home caused by any one of a long list of potential natural or man-made disasters in your area. What if you’re stranded in your home, the people in Rochester? If your loved one is in a care facility, there is ly a disaster plan in place there. Do you know what it is?
I hope these questions will motivate you to visit the nearest American Red Cross office, your local senior center, or your local fire department, to get help in creating your disa...