May 14, 2024


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“I don’t have time to do it now.”  I'm with ya!!

Boy, if they were every truer words. When disaster strikes we wish we were better prepared, had the money, and the time to take action ahead of time.

Whether you live in an area that has fires earthquakes snow storms or hurricanes or tornadoes, many of us are free from natural disasters.

As seniors, we have unique needs and considerations when it comes to disaster preparedness. we want safety and security and we want to remain independent.

But have you ever felt like this?

We want to get a lot done to get our homes ready and closed up and then we have to consider travel, where will we go, and what we will need. Do we have some mobility issues, transportation issues and maybe even limited financial resources?

And then, if we do live independently, we don't want to become dependent on our family members to take care of us throughout the disaster.

So what holds us back?

I know for me it's always a cost concern and it disrupts my routine. no matter how that hurricane is barreling down on the Gulf Coast, I just really don't have time to get all the things done that has to be done before I can leave my home.

And on top of this, I have to worry and the fear of uncertainty. What if I come back to no home? Or what if the home has damage? We all pretty much agree that insurance does not pay for the cost. We saw this fact emerged in Hurricanes Ian and Andrew where insurance companies just up and left Florida and canceled our policies. So our big concern is what will we have when we return.

For some of my friends that live up north they worry about the power going out, the pipes freezing and then bursting, or how long they're going to be without heat in a blizzard.

You are not alone. We all go through this. Raise your hand if you've ever had to deal with a power outage or getting out of your house in a hurry.

Our own successes down here in Florida

Most of us seniors know that if we live in a senior facility we are at the beck and call of that senior facility. While you will not see it in the news most of these facilities fail drastically in terms of generators and keeping their people well fed and safe. Most of their employees leave town during a hurricane and the skeleton crew that's left is not sufficient to provide the food the water. Even the best facilities in our area resorted to cots in the gymnasium for 3 months before they could get their seniors back to their homes. They ate off paper plates sitting on their laps and had to use the gymnasium bathrooms for showers.

So let's get prepared, shall we?

First thing our seniors do, is put up the hurricane shutters and yes, they always have a handyman or a neighbor who helps them with this. We know who this person is and we call on them to help us, and they are always there. This is good preparedness.

For those of us who are in senior facilities, we have pre-planned or exit strategies with our family to get us out of town and we do not return until we know the power is back on, and the employees have returned to the area.

You see, while we don't know what's going to happen, we do know what to do. And we do it, not ignore it. it's just common sense that the weather channels are not predictable or accurate, and when hurricane season hits every June 1st to November 1st we are ready to go.

It is such a great feeling of relief to know that we've got the plans in place and the right people ready to help us.

So here are three quick tips and strategies for you to think about.

#1 - Always keep your medications a month ahead. In other words, always have an extra supply on hand. If this is a medication that you take over the counter or a prescription, keep this bag handy. When you get your new bottle of medication take your old one out of this prepare-for-disaster bag and replace it with the new one. This way you never have expired medications. 

#2 -  Where will you go?  Because we do not know how long we're going to be without power, or when the storm hurricane, or blizzard is going to hit, we don't want to wait until the last minute. So where will you go to find power? How will you get there?  For most of us here in Florida, we head inland. and we reserve a hotel immediately upon notification that the hurricane is coming.  If we have a relative within 12 hours of driving distance we will get out of town sooner so we won't get stuck in a traffic jam.

#3 -  For seniors who have dementia or cognitive decline, preparing for disaster takes more effort. I have a whole guidebook on how to work with and prepare a senior who has to be moved and cannot move themselves in my Senior Freedom Club.  It's a checklist and a packing list of clothes, personal items, and activities a senior may need for as many days as I have to be out of their home.

When Hurricane Ian hit, it was such a relief to know that I had prepared ahead of time. My car was filled with gas and I was not waiting in gas lines all the way around blocks for hours. Those who got out of town were blessed not to come back in until they knew the power was on and grocery stores were open again.

Water and food became plentiful,  waiting in gas lines were getting smaller,  and most importantly they hadn't lost their cars to the hurricane. It was such a relief for these people to know they had prepared well.

The Senior Freedom Club™

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The most comprehensive membership, for validating, planning, and implementing your healthy, organized, and balanced life. The Senior Freedom Club™ not only shows seniors exactly how to age like a Super Ager, but how to help family caregivers enjoy a healthy and balanced stress-free life while caring for their seniors. 

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  • About the Author

    Hi, I'm Suzanne. My passion is creating working knowledge to well-informed, well-prepared seniors and their families so they may enjoy the later years with health, wealth, and happiness, I've helped over 10,000 patients, seniors and their famlies like yourselves do just that through my courses, eBooks, the Senior Freedom Club™, and in my physician assistant medical practice.


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