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6 Ways to Keep Parents Safe During Hurricane Season

Judie Rappaport
August 29, 2014

Dear Judie,


Mom just moved here from Ohio to live with me. She's 86 and has some memory loss and physical limitations. I prepared for my family months ago, but what does she need in a hurricane? 

- Rene, Stuart


Dear Judie, 

I live in an evacuation zone and am hoping you can give me some tips in case I have to evacuate with my 91 year old mother. The thought it mind-boggling. 

- Janet, Hutchinson Island


Dear Rene and Janet, 


Prepare for a hurricane using the same safety measures you used for your family, plus these special considerations:

  • if you plan to evacuate, don’t expect your parent to sit in a hot car in hours-long traffic jams. Leave shortly after authorities announce a Hurricane Watch—this helps avoid stalled traffic, allows time to stop every two hours for a bathroom break as well as time for your parent to stretch and walk a bit to help with muscle fatigue and circulation.
  • If mom needs a special-needs shelter, sign up now—they fill up early.
  • If she requires air-conditioning for medical reasons, make arrangements before the storm for alternative housing if you lose power.
  • In case your parent needs medical care, carry her social security card, medical insurance card, and a copy of her medical records in a waterproof plastic bag along with her other important documents: checkbook; photo I.D.; living will, POA/Health Care Surrogate, DNR; home, LTC, Health Insurance Policies; credit cards, important telephone numbers (physicians, siblings, friends); and an extra supply of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Must-haves also may include incontinent supplies (diapers, sheet/mattress covers), moisture wipes and other items for hygiene.
  • If mom has dementia or frightens easily, minimize her contact with strangers and minimize the sounds of rain and wind with music or by closing curtains and closing doors to rooms with windows. Cards, games, and other distractions are helpful.

For help with planning call the Alzheimer’s Community Care at (772-223-6351), Alzheimer’s Assn. 800-861-7826, American Red Cross (772-287-2002), and the Area Agency on Aging for the Treasure Coast (561-684-5885).  


Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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