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What to Do When a Disaster Is Imminent

The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence

It can be tempting to procrastinate planning for difficult situations. Planning a party is one thing, but planning how you would survive a natural disaster is something else entirely. If you’re like most of us, you’ll deal with that “tomorrow.” Yet all too often the disaster happens – and you’ve never gotten around to preparing for it.  With some forethought and planning, you can help yourself and your loved ones weather the storm safely.

Caring for someone with memory impairment adds an additional layer of challenges to tackle when thinking about disaster planning.  Planning ahead of a disaster, rather than when one is about to strike, can help make it less stressful for you and your loved one. If you are a family caregiver and provide care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, there are additional steps you may want to consider.  These steps can be time consuming so it’s wise to plan in advance, so as to not overwhelm you when the disaster strikes.

  • Contact your loved one’s support team (people who might help prepare, help your loved one evacuate and care for your loved one if you can’t get there) and determine who will do what if it becomes necessary during a disaster.
  • Pack your loved one’s valuables and mementoes, which can provide comfort in a time of confusion.
  • Make sure that your loved one’s clothing, sturdy shoes and other necessities are packed.
  • Double check that your disaster kit includes all your loved one’s necessary medications and medical devices.

Preparing early for an evacuation is good practice. It also can save you precious moments and keep speed on your side when disaster strikes. And remember – the more people you have in your care, the more time you may need to get ready.

For more information, review our disaster preparation guidebook.

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