Severe Weather Tips for Seniors
Those of us who have experienced severe weather know how stressful and disorienting it can be, especially for seniors who live alone and may have limited mobility or cognitive conditions. In order to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and well-prepared in the event of severe weather, we recommend taking the following precautions for yourself, and/or your elderly loved ones.
We all love watching a beautiful winter snowfall, but blizzards can be very dangerous, especially for seniors. Power outages, freezing temperatures, and dangerous driving conditions can leave you stranded. As the snowy season approaches, you should:
- Pack a blizzard survival kit to use in the event of a power outage. Power outages during blizzards are very common, so you’ll need batteries, bottled water, canned food, several extra layers of clothing, a back-up supply of any medications, toilet paper, a battery-operated radio, flashlights, and any other daily essentials you use.
- Never use a generator indoors. For those who have generators at home, remember to only run it when it’s outside. Generators emit carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas, which is especially dangerous to older adults.
- Use flashlights instead of candles. When the power goes out it can be tempting to light candles, but flashlights are a much safer alternative because there is no fire hazard. Stash some flashlights and several packs of batteries in the closet so they’re easy to access in the dark.
Although we usually get a hurricane warning a few days before it hits, it’s recommended to prepare when there is no threat. This is to ensure you’re not caught up in the flurry of activity several days before the hurricane makes landfall. Put together a hurricane kit with at least three days’ worth of the following supplies:
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable foods, like canned vegetables and fruits
- Dry goods like pretzels and protein bars
- Any medications you or your family take
- Flashlights and batteries
Hurricanes can leave people confined to their homes for several days until it’s safe to go outside again. So similar to a blizzard, we recommend stocking up on all your essentials well ahead of time to avoid less than ideal driving conditions
You Are Safe from the Storm at UMC Pitman
Preparing for blizzards, hurricanes, or other severe weather events is something that’s easy to put on hold. However, being well-prepared and avoiding the frenzy is crucial, especially for older adults. If you or someone you love has mobility issues or is cognitively impaired, we recommend taking time to be well-stocked with the provisions discussed above year-round.
At UMC Pitman, we take the safety of our residents very seriously. In the event of severe weather, we are prepared for and implement enhanced safety procedures that are immediately put into place. We understand it’s not always possible to physically be with your loved ones in assisted living during a severe weather event, like a hurricane, however our associates are all highly trained in how to keep everyone safe, connected, calm and out of harm’s way.