Planning for Evacuation

Think ahead about how you would evacuate quickly and safely. Consider where you would go, how you would get there, and what you would need to bring.

Does your chosen relocation site have adequate food, water, toiletries, and medication available? In times of emergency, keep in mind that you can check with the pharmacy before leaving, as many will provide early refills. Some major retailers also offer prescription delivery.

Your plans should address specific seasons. For example, it may make sense to have summer plans that differ from winter ones, depending on where you live.

Often, you or the senior needing care has medical needs requiring equipment, medicine, and attention. If they are not mobile, think about how you would relocate them in an emergency. Consider organizing some medical supplies in a bag or box to grab for a quick exit.

Emergency relocation requires addressing the need to move all assistive medical devices and durable medical equipment. Remember batteries and chargers for all necessary devices.

Try to avoid the need to evacuate quickly. A proactive early departure will help you stay calm and think more clearly. It may also help prevent potential difficulties like gas shortages and traffic jams.

A Crisis Plan for Senior Citizens in a Residential Facility

Your plan for a senior living in a facility will look different than it would for one living in their home. Below are some recommendations to ensure aging loved ones in a facility will stay safe in a disaster:

  • Review the facility's backup generator, evacuation routes, and other basic precautions.
  • Make sure the facility has your primary and alternative contact information.
  • Request updates from health administration staff regarding changes in your loved one’s emotional or physical state.
  • Ask for medical records that document all care they are managing.
  • Communicate frequently with your loved one in any way possible to ensure they are as safe as possible.
  • Take detailed notes because it is easy to overlook or forget important details during times of high stress.
  • Share as much information as possible with your loved one to reassure them that their health and safety are a priority.

Start Small – and Soon

It may feel overwhelming to consider all the steps involved in crisis planning and put it off until another day. Unfortunately, you never know when disaster might occur, so there's no time to lose.

To start, jot down the most critical information and share it with your loved ones. You can always update your plan with more details later. These steps can provide organization, protection, and comfort in times of great uncertainty.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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