Caregivers Need Emergency Plans — Do you Have One?

Caregivers need emergency plans. Natural disasters have hit almost every part of the United States in recent months. Wildfires and mudslides on the West Coast… hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Southern U.S…. blizzards in the Northeastern corridor… What’s in your emergency kit?

Caregivers need Emergency Plans

I live in a region that’s been smacked hard by dangerous snowstorms. Pennsylvania and New York are magnets for Nor’easters  —  there were four in March alone! Our house lost power for four days during the first March blizzard. When the electricity stops, our water supply also quits because it’s pumped up from an underground well. Problems like these have an even bigger impact on #caregivers because we’re often responsible for the safety of loved ones with poor mobility and complex medical needs. There’s a high number of #family_caregivers in my region. Many people move to the Poconos after they retire. Recent retirees often lack a social network to assist them in a crisis.

caregivers need emergency plans

Snow storms here can be brutal. It’s treacherous to drive out to buy food or medical supplies. The National Weather Service considers winter storms to be “deceptive killers” because most deaths and injuries don’t occur as a direct result of the storms. People are more likely to get hurt or killed in car accidents. Many also suffer from hypothermia if they lose heat for a long period of time. The Pennsylvania Emergency Guide urges families to develop an emergency plan to help everyone safely navigate through this type of crisis. If you’re a caregiver, it’s also important to plan an escape route from your home. You need a strategy to help loved ones in wheelchairs. They may not be able to push themselves to safety without your assistance.

How do you prepare for an Emergency?

Our house is located in the woods. There is only one way in or out. Together with a few neighbors, we pay someone to plow our lane so we can escape if necessary. Over the past year, someone in each neighboring household has been critically ill with cancer, blindness, or dementia. We check on each other to make sure each family has food, water, and some source of heat. None of us take the weather for granted. Even this morning — days after the official start of spring — I woke up to find another inch of new snow on my car. Winter just refuses to end.

I’m fed up with the snowstorms, but very grateful that our infrastructure hasn’t been destroyed as it was in Puerto Rico and other places. What types of challenges does your household need to prepare for? If you’d like a guide to help you do some emergency planning, click this link. Your state should also have a similar link to help you plan for the most common situations emergencies in your region. None of us can predict the future, but we can certainly try to be ready when it gets here.

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