The American Red Cross, featured in this issue of Generations Magazine, is a historic organization that has served our country for more than 134 years. Not only does Red Cross provide assistance during crises, but it also educates the public on disaster preparedness. The question is: are you, as an older individual or as a caregiver to an elderly relative, prepared for an extended emergency?

If you share your home with an elderly family member, disaster preparedness is paramount. Here are six ways you can prepare your home and your family for emergencies:

  • Take a moment to look up your local shelter: where it is located, what services does it provide.
  • Are home emergency kit batteries sufficient for a disaster? If electricity is critical to the care of your elderly family member, be prepared to transport your loved one to an acute care facility.
  • Put together a “To-Go Bag” with basic care items for your family member. Include extra clothing, diapers, baby wipes, water and medications.
  • Ensure your family member’s medication will last several days. Have at least one refill available.
  • Keep medications in a small cooler filled with reusable ice packs.
  • Plan ahead for civil emergencies, because your home services may be temporarily unavailable.

Natural disasters and other emergencies are incredibly stressful; add caregiving and meeting the medical needs of loved ones on top, and you can be overwhelmed. But if you are prepared for crisis, you can keep your family protected! Aloha.

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