Hurricanes are massive storms with winds that can reach upwards of 150 miles per hour, spawn tornadoes, create storm surges along coastal areas, and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall.
Perhaps the deadliest hurricane complication is flooding. Floods can affect anyone, anywhere and at any time. They can also happen quickly and be all-encompassing that there is literally no place to run. Flooding, for example, caused incalculable losses to property and human lives during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
If you are a senior or having an aging parent living in Florida, safety during storm season should be a top priority. Bear in mind, flooding concerns are not limited only to Florida seniors living at home. Even for seniors who are now living in long-term care facilities or independent living, understanding the crisis plan for storm season is critical. You do not want to wait for a storm to determine how to make your home safe or to know how a facility will operate in a crisis.
Click here to download our resource guide in this important topic and continue reading for tips for seniors after a hurricane passes.
We want you to develop your own plan to ensure you or your senior loved ones are safe. Let us share a few key tips to help you, and especially your aging parents living in Florida, to be prepared for hurricane-related weather conditions.
Ways to Prepare Before a Potential Flood
- Make copies of all important personal and legal documents. Put the originals in a safe place away from the home – like a safe deposit box – and the copies in the home within a waterproof container. Talk to the attorney you work with about the documents you should take with you should evacuation be necessary.
- Take photos of valuable possessions – like jewelry, art and furniture – and compile receipts. Place the photos and receipts with other important documents. Putting these photos on a USB thumb drive would take up the least amount of space but be sure to take it during evacuation.
- Review the flood insurance policy and make sure you understand it. Call the insurance agent to verify you are sufficiently covered.
- Take inventory of the medication supply. Do you or your aging parents have enough to get through a storm if roads are impassable to get to a pharmacy? Talk to your doctor to ensure you have what you need.
- Where will you or your aging parents evacuate to or be evacuated to? Learn this early. You do not want to be evacuated to a shelter that will not be able to provide for necessary health care.
What to Know While Flooding is Occurring
- Store a radio with extra batteries in order to receive weather and safety updates in case electrical power is out.
- Keep away from power lines and electrical wiring. Electrocution is one of the main causes of death during flooding.
- Do not drive through a flooded area. Water is incredibly powerful. Only two feet of moving flood water can sweep away an average car. Surprisingly, more people drown in their cars than anywhere else during flooding.
- Do not walk through flooded areas. It can take as little as six-inches of water to knock someone down.
- Commit to communicate with family and loved ones as much as possible during this time.
After the Flood is Over
- Remember, just because the water is gone, doesn’t mean that danger has passed.
- If evacuated, do not return to your home until local authorities have declared it is safe to do so.
- Determine if structural damage has occurred before entering your home. A partial collapse could be fatal.
- Wear gloves, protective clothing, eye protection and boots to clean and disinfect your home.
- Check for local announcements about the water supply. Do not assume it is safe to drink.
These are just a few of the tips we have to keep you or your aging parents safe during storm season. We know this article may have raised more questions than it answered. Do not wait to ask us. Let us help you ensure you have the Florida planning you need to stay safe during storm season and well into the future.