Caregivers in RIver North IL: Is Your Parent Prepared for Disasters?
No one wants to think about a disaster affecting their family, but the fact is that disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods do happen. Some disasters can cause people to be unable to get to food or water for days and can result in long-term power outages. If a disaster were to strike in your parent’s community, would they be prepared for it? If they’re like around half of other Americans, they don’t have a disaster plan in place or an emergency kit on hand. As a family caregiver for your parent, you may wish to talk to them about how to handle an emergency situation and make sure they have the necessary supplies for weathering a few days without food, water, or electricity.
Three Steps to Being Prepared
The American Red Cross suggests there are three steps to being prepared for a disaster:
- Get a Kit: An emergency care kit that contains essential supplies can help your parent to stay safe while waiting for emergency assistance. Caregivers should review their parent’s kit to make certain it contains all of the necessary items and that their parent knows how to use all of the items. The kit should be kept in an area of the home that is easy for your parent to get to.
- Make a Plan: You can’t plan for every event, but you can plan things like escape routes and who to contact in case of an emergency. It’s also important for caregivers to practice the plan with their parent so that they are familiar with the steps.
- Be Informed: Caregivers should also find out about emergency plans and procedures in their parent’s community.
Creating an Emergency Care Kit
What your parent needs in their emergency kit will vary depending on the climate they live in and any medical conditions they may have. There are detailed checklists available online through the American Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Below are just some of the items the CDC recommend for disaster preparedness kits.
- Three-day supply of food and water.
- Three-day supply of medications.
- First aid kit.
- Personal care items (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
- Extra batteries.
- Radio (battery, hand crank, or solar powered).
- Copies of important documents, like insurance cards.
- A copy of the emergency plan.
Emergency Care Kit for Pets
If your parent has a pet, it’s a good idea for caregivers to help their parent to prepare for the needs of the pet in an emergency situation. The ASPCA recommends taking the following actions to help protect pets:
- Get an alert sticker to place in the window so that emergency workers will know there are pets in the home that may also need help.
- Plan for pet care following an emergency. Find a family member or friend who will care for your parent’s pets in a disaster situation. Caregivers may also want to look into whether the local animal shelter will provide temporary shelter for pets during an emergency.
- Make sure your parent’s pet has a collar with identification tags and/or a microchip.
- Make an emergency kit for the pet. The kit should contain a three to seven day supply of food and water, food dishes, any medications the pet takes, an extra leash, and other items essential to the pet’s care. For example, be sure to have a disposable litter box and some litter on hand for cats.
Family caregivers can help improve their parent’s chances of getting through a disaster situation safely by making sure they are prepared. Talk to your parent about what to do if a disaster happens and assist them with creating a disaster preparedness kit. They may never need to use it, but it will bring peace of mind knowing they are prepared.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN RIVER NORTH, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.
About Lenora Alabi, Branch Manager
Lenora Alabi, Branch Manager
Lenora Alabi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. Prior to joining the BrightStar Care team, Lenora taught pharmacy related courses as the Lead Instructor for the Pharmacy Technician Program at Everest College for six years, helping to prepare students for careers in pharmacy. She was also the Program Manager for the Massage Therapy Program at Everest.
Lenora joined the BrightStar Care Family in 2015 as a Customer Care Manager where she excelled and made a significant impact on customers and staff through her passion in delivering a higher standard of care. Lenora became Branch Manager in 2016 and she continues to exhibit that same passion by ensuring that the highest quality care is provided to all clients and families. She also works diligently to ensure that the BrightStar Care core values are a meaningful part of every activity. “The standards are impeccable, and BrightStar Care is a company that works endlessly to ensure that customers are receiving the best care possible.”