Create an Emergency Plan

Creating a comprehensive emergency plan and disaster supplies kit is crucial for ensuring you and your family are well prepared for potentially dangerous situations. Not only do these things help you practically and logistically, but they also help you feel more confident and therefore calmer.

Establish a communication plan: Your family and friends may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another or determine a safe place for you all to meet if traveling is feasible. Keep in mind that roads may be unsafe and internet and phone lines may be down for some time, depending on the situation. Make a list of important phone numbers for family, friends, local shelters and aid organizations, and your loved one’s other care team members to include in your emergency file.

ID, legal and health information: Keep copies of important identification and health documents on hand in an emergency folder for yourself and your care recipient. Bringing your driver’s license or ID card and insurance cards is ideal, but copies are better than nothing. Other important papers to include in this file are copies of power of attorney forms, advance directives and a complete medication list. If you must evacuate, bringing copies of the deed or lease to one’s home, insurance policies and similar papers may be a good idea as well.

Mobility Aids: If your elder has limited mobility or is bedbound or wheelchair bound, make a detailed plan for how they will get around and/or evacuate. For example, if your parent uses a motorized wheelchair to get around, be sure to have a manual wheelchair on hand as a backup.