Hurricanes are devastating storms that terrorize millions of Americans every year.
Dangerous high-winds, flying debris, and torrential downpours lasting days are among their worst effects. Flooding, regardless of where you live, can always be a prolonged risk as well. After hurricane winds and rain subside, flooding can continue to ravage large areas and contaminate water supplies.
Let us share a few tips to help aging parents cope with hurricane-related flooding, before, during, and after it occurs.
Before a Hurricane:
- Make copies of all their important personal and legal documents. Put the originals in a safe place away from an aging parent’s home, and place copies in a waterproof emergency container inside their house.
- Take photos of their most valuable possessions, such as jewelry, art and furniture, and catalogue the receipts. Store these receipts along with other important documents or keep them in digital form, such as on a USB thumb drive or cloud storage service.
- Review an aging parent’s flood insurance policy and make sure he or she understands it. You may also want to contact the insurance agent to see if there is sufficient coverage.
During a Hurricane:
- Make sure aging parents can monitor weather and safety updates. Give them a backup radio with extra batteries in case of a power outage.
- Make sure they know to stay away from power lines and electrical wiring. Electrocution is one of the main causes of death during flooding.
- Do not let them drive during hurricane flooding. Water is incredibly powerful. Just two feet of moving flood water can sweep away the average car.
- Do not let them walk through flooded areas. It can take as little as six-inches of water to knock someone down.
After Hurricane Flooding:
- If evacuated, aging loved ones should not return to their homes until local authorities have declared it safe.
- Help them determine if structural damage has occurred.
- Make sure they know to wear gloves, protective clothing, and eye protection when cleaning up. Flood waters can be extremely toxic.
- Check for local announcements about the water supply. Don’t assume it’s safe for them to drink.
We know just how devastating the impact of a hurricane can be here in Florida. It can be especially challenging for older Floridians who may have a more difficult time preparing and sustaining throughout a storm. Do not wait to talk to us about how we can help you and your aging family members prepare for this and any elder care issue.