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Hurricane preparedness

Caregiver and patient

Alcibiades Rives, RN |Director of Nursing

The month of June marks the beginning of hurricane season. Hurricane season in southeast United States ranges from June 1st – November 30th. Although hurricanes are not necessarily guaranteed, there is no doubt that weather patterns during hurricane season bring lots of rain and frequent storms. We at Homewatch CareGivers have started our emergency preparedness planning in time for hurricane season. We’re encouraging families to discuss and develop their own emergency plan at home. We’ve outlined some key items to discuss when establishing an emergency plan and resourceful community resources for residents of Broward County. Whether you’re faced with thunderstorms, tropical storms or hurricanes, there are some vital items every household is encouraged to have ready: a safe and secure shelter, access to clean drinking water, and non-perishable foods.

When a weather alert is announced knowing where your family will go is important. When considering our elderly population staying home may be a safe option. However, for individuals with multiple chronic illnesses, who cannot be left alone, registering for a special needs shelter, before the storm, will ensure safe and secure sheltering. Ensuring safety of our loved ones with special needs is our top priority. Our office at South-west Broward is ready to assist families with registering your loved one to approved Broward Special needs shelters. We understand that families may not feel comfortable with the idea of leaving the home, but we must be ready to deal with the potential for disaster. More information on Broward County special needs shelters is provided in the links below. “Tips for Staying at a Shelter” according to FEMA:

  • Notify management of any needs you may have.
  • Let your family and out-of-town contacts know where you are sheltering or where you will be staying during the storm.
  • Make arrangements for your pets’ care.

Access to clean drinking water is fundamental for surviving any natural disaster. It’s not recommended to wait until a dangerous storm has been announced to stock up on clean water. Stocking up on water early in hurricane season is smart decision for every family planning to stay home during a natural disaster. Families are also encouraged to fill up bathtubs and other large containers with clean water that can be used for cleaning, toileting, etc. Planning ahead of time will prevent issues related to supply shortages which are commonly experienced shortly after a storm has been announced. Older adults living with diabetes, or those taking diuretics are most at risk for dehydration. Families are reminded to consider the increased need for drinking water for these individuals. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men, About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. (MAYO, 2017).

According to FEMA: “Seniors taking medicines should consider the possibility of prescription refills for up to six months and keep a copy of prescriptions as well as dosage information. If undergoing routine treatments administered by a hospital or receiving regular services such as home healthcare, treatment or transportation, older adults should talk to their service providers about their emergency plans.” FEMA is a great resource for disaster planning we encourage all families to visit their site. Broward County also provides a lot of resources available for families preparing for hurricane season. Including a 5 step plan: 1) Shelter options, 2) Pre-register for important services, 3) Make arrangements for animals, 4) prepare important documents, 5) prepare equipment and collect supplies.

For more information on how Homewatch CareGivers of South-west Broward is preparing for hurricanes, and services we provide before, during and after a storm contact our main office (954) 866-7051.

Other links and community resources:

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