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Evacuating with Older Adults

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Preparing for hurricane season can be a challenge for older adults. Whether you live with a family member or in a facility, it’s important to have a plan. Here are some things you should do to ensure you or a loved one is safe during a hurricane evacuation.

What to do if you or your loved one lives in a facility

It might feel like you are not in constant contact with your family when you live alone or in a facility. If you live in a facility, make sure to inquire about its evacuation plans. This includes

  • How the facility plans to evacuate the resident without family or personal transportation
  • The destination to which residents will temporarily relocate
  • Equipment needed, such as a wheelchair, oxygen tank or medicine
  • Phone numbers of doctors or family to reach you
  • Medical plan in case of an emergency

What to do if you or your loved one lives alone

If you live alone and have a case manager or nurse who visits regularly, make sure to speak with them about your concerns. They might able to help you come up with a plan if you do not live near family. If you live near family or friends, give them a call to discuss an evacuation plan. Things to discuss:

  • Where you can go in case of a hurricane
  • At what hurricane stage will you join your family/friends
  • How long you will be away
  • Medical plan in case of an emergency

What to do if you or your loved one lives with family

If you live with your family members, make sure to set some time to go over the family’s plan. Things to talk about:

  • Where you are planning on evacuating
  • Medical plan in case of an emergency
  • How long you expect to be there
  • Contingency plans

Have an emergency preparedness kit

Having the medical supplies and survival items needed for an evacuation ready to go is essential. Make sure you have your kit well-stocked at all times. It is recommended to check your kit every six months to replenish any missing items or check expiration dates. Things to pack in your kit include:

  • Water (enough for three days to a week per person)
  • Nonperishable food items
  • Medications (a week’s supply)
  • Flashlight/batteries
  • Radio
  • Important phone numbers of family, doctors, etc.
  • First aid kit
  • Copies of important documents/insurance cards/medication list
  • Cell phone with a backup or car charger
  • Cash
  • Medical equipment (wheelchair, eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries, oxygen tanks)

Regardless, if you take care of an older adult or have one in a facility, it is your responsibility to make sure they are taken care of an out of harm’s way.

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