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  • Writer's pictureKelli Edwards

Disaster Planning and COVID-19

Oh no. It is that time of year again. It is Hurricane Season and we are dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic! COVID-19 does not look like it is going away any time soon. Disaster preparation will be a little different during this time. A comprehensive disaster plan could literally mean the difference between life and death! Did you know that people over the age of 60 accounted for 75% of the bodies found immediately after Hurricane Katrina in 2005? It is critical that we all, especially the elderly, have a disaster plan in place.

First and foremost, establish a network of family, friends, and others that may be able to help in the event of a disaster. Make sure you have all of their numbers handy and make sure that they have yours! It is wise to have an out of state contact person designated, should a storm hit our area. Keep their number and share with local family, providers, and friends. This person can be the point of contact. It can be easier to reach others in a different service area than your own if disaster strikes. Make a plan and make it known! Post it on your fridge!

Secondly, decide where are you going? Are you going to shelter in place, or will you go with a friend and/or loved one? In either event, you should gather important legal documents to be kept in a waterproof box that can be easily grabbed and taken with you in the event should you have to evacuate (legal documents, insurance documents, identification, financial records, prescriptions).

Make a disaster kit that includes:

• Face masks (scarves or bandanas if no masks are available)

• Disinfectant wipes

• Disinfectant spray

• Hand Sanitizer

• 30-day supply of all required medications

• All medical equipment and supplies (O2 tanks, equipment for monitoring blood sugar, etc.)

• Back up energy sources for essential medical equipment

• Any special dietary needs or food

• Water (two weeks’ worth if staying home)

• Batteries for hearing aids

• Spare glasses

• Personal hygiene items

• Cash and coin ($50)

• Change of clothes

• Food, medication, and a crate for pets. (two weeks’ worth if staying home)

Lastly, if there are no other options, and someone has special needs, make sure they are registered with their county’s “special needs” registry. If you or a loved one require a high level of medical care or depend on electricity for life-sustaining medical equipment, you should consider registering. Pre-registration of special needs residents is essential to a smooth evacuation.

An Aging Life Care Manager can coordinate and assist with making sure you or a loved one is prepared for this hurricane season. Call Care Resources LLC at 727-842-3344 to schedule an appointment now.

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