Keeping Seniors Safe During Hurricanes and Storms
As we all know from reading the horrific news this hurricane season, everyone is at risk of devastating harm. Seniors are especially vulnerable. Here, from certified Elder Law Attorney Eric Goldberg, Goldberg Law Group, are seven tips to avoid disaster in tough circumstances.
- Relocate outside of the danger area if possible, and as soon as possible.
- Move seniors to higher ground. Structures that are strong enough to sustain high winds and water flow provide more safety.
- Purchase a generator or find a place with one. If seniors must stay near where they reside, it is important to at least house them in a structure that has a generator. This will allow them to continue to be monitored or provided with heating/cooling or other important comforts that can only be operated by electricity or a generator. In Florida, during Hurricane Irma, seniors housed in facilities without working generators were susceptible to the elements with fatal consequences. Make sure that your loved one’s facility has a working generator that is inspected regularly.
- Hire help. Ensure that a responsible, trained, levelheaded person is available to address any issues that may occur.
- Contact assisted living facilities. If possible, relocate the senior to a group environment, such as a reputable assisted living facility. This serves a number of important purposes: It provides them with a safety and a building with a generator. And it can ensure that the appropriate medical care is available to stabilize them if they cannot leave the building.
- Share time with loved ones. This is not the time for the senior to feel isolated. Family members should rally and make sure the senior has loved ones with them during this dangerous event.
- Notify local authorities. In a worst-case scenario where the senior is far from family and perhaps in an isolated environment, make certain that local authorities are aware of this fact. Police department, local Adult Protective Services, and other volunteer organizations should all be contacted.