Planning for a hurricane or major storm is critical for those with a mobility disability. Seniors and disabled people in South Florida are just entering into Hurricane season which runs 6/1/17-11/30/17. Palm Beach and Broward County offer several resources for those with people disabilities. You should maintain a list of all emergency services and medications you may need.
Here are 5 Tips to prepare if you do have a mobility disability
- If you use a power wheelchair, if possible, have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported. Your home health aid may assist with finding the specs of your wheelchair.
- Purchase an extra battery for a power wheelchair or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices. If you are unable to purchase an extra battery, find out what agencies, organizations, or local charitable groups can help you with the purchase. Keep extra batteries on a trickle charger at all times.
- Consider keeping a patch kit or can of sealant for flat tires and/or extra inner tube if wheelchair or scooter is not puncture proof. (from Nusura/CalEMA)
- Keep an extra mobility device such as a cane or walker, if you use one.
- If you use a seat cushion to protect your skin or maintain your balance, and you must evacuate without your wheelchair, take your cushion with you. Your companion care assistant will help with these details.
See our Senior Resources for important services in you live in Broward or Palm Beach County.
The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. Living in Palm Beach and Broward County we are especially aware of this as we enter into hurricane season. Seniors and families with special care and/or medical needs have to take into account possible long term power outages and limited ability to get access to medications after a storm. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that ﬁts those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.
There are commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen. Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment. If appropriate, discuss your needs with your employer.
Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration such as coolers and ice-packs. Make arrangements well ahead of time if you need any assistance to get to a shelter or special assistance.
For more information, read Ready.gov’s Preparing Makes Sense For Older Americans or visit the Red Cross website