Our previous blog addressed how seniors can register with a shelter in an emergency and the steps to take to prepare for an evacuation. Going to a shelter should be an option of last resort for seniors and their caregivers; ideally the elderly should enlist the assistance of family, friends or neighbors to assist them in evacuating from a dangerous natural or manmade disaster. If you are using a caregiver from a home care agency, they should stay with you as long as it is safely possible and until the client’s primary contact can take over the situation.
As part of the client’s initial assessment, every licensed home care agency in Texas is responsible for helping the client identify who will be primarily responsible for evacuation. Some options are to register with the special needs registry, arrange for family and friends to assist in evacuation or if in a facility, the facility should assist with evacuation procedures.
Being prepared for an emergency is more than simply knowing what to do, but being prepared to execute well thought out plans. There are three basic steps everyone needs to take to prepare for a disaster:
1. Make an emergency plan.
2. Build an emergency supply kit.
3. Learn about the various types of disasters that you may face.
An excellent on-line resource for Texans is at www.texasprepares.org. This resource will take you through all three steps outlined above. There are excellent informational sheets and checklists to help you prepare for almost any disaster you may face.
Following are some local, state and federal agencies in Texas that may be able to provide information and assistance during a disaster:
Texas Department of Emergency Management: www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/
San Antonio Office of Emergency Management: http://saoemprepare.com/
San Antonio Red Cross: www.saredcross.org
The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County: www.unitedwaysatx.org