A Guide for Seniors: Preparing for Hurricane Season
Every June, the hurricane season launches and tends to wind down around mid-November. Here in Daytona Beach, these storms can strike rather quickly and result in damage and power outages that can last for days or even weeks. While everyone in a coastal community should be ready for hurricanes, they can pose a different set of problems for older adults who might have special needs or circumstances.
Preparation is the key to getting through intense storms, and a strong plan of action is best put into place before any actual threats arrive. It’s good advice to prepare for the worst and to check on supplies when practicing the safety plan routinely. This lets caregivers, family and friends work together to weather the storms when they arrive. Here are some useful tips for coastal residents during hurricane season.
Putting a Hurricane Plan in Place
Whether you are an older adult that lives alone or has a significant other or caregiver, getting everyone on board with a solid hurricane preparedness plan can save lives. Furthermore, seniors tend to feel more confident knowing what to do when the storm hits.
Some things to consider first and foremost include:
- Is the home safely secured?
- Do windows need protection?
- Is there a place to seek shelter away from windows?
- What is the evacuation plan?
- Is transportation needed or fuel in personal vehicles?
- Is there any chance of an older friend or family member getting trapped in the home without power or water?
Developing a hurricane emergency preparedness kit with a minimum of five days of food and water, a working radio, toiletries, flashlights, medication and anything that might be needed should that worst-case scenario occur or if evacuation is necessary. This means that having cash on hand as well as any important documents such as insurance information should be ready to go along with you.
Be Aware of Potential Threats
The calm before the storm can give some a false sense of security. Of course, the weather reporters have a whole chart of potential landing spots days in advance. Hurricanes are indeed unpredictable forces of nature, and the threats are very real. Homeowners should seek the assistance of family and friends to help secure down any potential projectiles outdoors.
In situations with families, they often opt to ‘hunker down’ together to ensure supply availability and to intercept should an emergency arise. If possible, getting out of the area that’s predicted to be most affected is the best option. This brings about the concept of determining where to go should flooding or severe damage to the home occurs.
There are organizations like the American Red Cross, local shelters and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that can be very helpful in finding resources and places to stay during hurricane season. If pets are in the home, don’t forget to pack up a goodie bag with food, potty bags, kitty litter, blankets and a few comforting toys.
Should one have mobility concerns, a plan should be in place to help an older adult get safely down any stairways if evacuation is called for.
What to Do as the Storm Approaches
Hurricanes generally approach the coast slowly, so advisories are issued a few days in advance. However, try to run through your escape and protection routine every few months, which provides an extra sense of security. Waiting until the last minute could result in shortages of key supplies as people stock up. Keep an eye and ear on the television and radio reports, board up windows as needed and clear away any loose items in the yard.
Concerned About a Family Member?
If there is any doubt that you or an older person in your life might need to receive medical care during the storm, you’ll want to call and get pre-admittance approval from a local senior housing community. This option provides a safe space, and there will be no need to worry about losing power, missing medication, or their overall wellbeing.
Benefits of Living at a Florida Senior Living Community
When you choose a senior living community in Daytona Beach, FL, there’s no need to be concerned about a loved one during hurricanes. At Sunscape, we ensure residents can live with peace of mind and live their best life knowing they are covered in case of an unfortunate power outage.
Most current backup generators are designed to start working automatically. Within seconds of a typical utility outage, an automatic transfer switch can sense the loss of power. When this happens, a command signal is sent immediately to the generator.
Having a backup generator is wise for any Floridian, and it’s an absolute must for powering up medical equipment during a power outage especially for those who need oxygen or other medications that rely on electricity or battery packs. Not only can the generator help with medical equipment, but it will also keep the food from spoiling, preventing many seniors from going hungry or getting sick as a result of a utility power outage.
These are only a few of the many reasons why generators are of utmost importance in assisted living and memory care communities.
How Are Tropical Storms Named?
The National Hurricane Center has created lists since 1953 from which Atlantic tropical storms are named. The names of tropical storms in 2021 include Claudette, Elsa, Grace, Kate, Larry and many more. Click here to see the full list of named storms in 2021 and coming years.
Senior Living Community Hurricane FAQ’s
Does Sunscape have a policy on how to act in an event of a hurricane?
When a named storm is predicted to hit our area, we monitor the weather center (national and local) daily for updates. Daily emails are sent to family members and staff as more information is gathered and plans are made. If plans are made to shelter in place, families are given notice no later than 72 hours before expected landfall and given the option to take their loved ones home with them. Staff is made aware of plans to shelter 72 hours in advance and expected to arrive on-site for projected shifts 8 hours in advance of landfall. All scheduled staff for 72 hours from the time of expected landfall are expected to arrive on-site to shelter in place for the duration of the 72 hours from landfall or until the all-clear is given from both state and national weather services
How does Sunscape community decide whether or not to evacuate during a hurricane?
Evacuation decisions are made collaboratively with the community leadership, home office leadership, and community, civic, and law enforcement authorities.
How do you keep residents safe and comfortable if they decide to shelter in place?
Residents stay safely in their apartments, and activities and programs are planned inside the community as normal. Our generator powers all major components of the community, so we strive for as much normalcy as possible. Emergency food and water is kept on hand if the storm is prolonged.
In case of evacuation, where do residents go?
We keep regular agreements with other assisted living communities that will allow us to evacuate to a safer place in the event of mandatory evacuation.
How do you communicate to resident families that everyone is safe?
Regular communication is managed through cell phone (as long as there is service) email, and our CareMerge technology.
Senior Living at Sunscape Daytona
Our Florida senior living community will always be prepared for power outages. We have an efficient and caring staff that handles everything from food and medications to ensuring that the power is always on with reliable backup generators. We‘ll keep the residents safe and comfortable during any storm! Contact us, call us at 754-312-6548, or download our community brochure to learn more about our brand-new senior living community.