Nancy Ludin, The Jewish Pavilion's CEO Perspective on Seniors in Independent Assisted and Skilled Nursing Facilities during a hurricane:

 

While many people and companies believe that seniors should live at home as long as possible, I am uncomfortable espousing this view. Many of our elders live alone and they face many challenges with driving, mobility, finances etc.

Seniors who reside in Independent Living. Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing have most of their needs met by the facilities. They receive a daily call making sure they are OK, They have transportation services that take them to the supermarket, bank, shopping and to medical appointments. They have meals, social activities and lots of people who are looking out for their welfare on a daily basis.

 

When a hurricane warning takes place, all of the challenges of living alone are exasperated. Now, they have to worry about damage to their homes, lack of electricity, emergency preparedness and disaster relief. Close to 75% of all seniors have some anxiety or depression ,so hearing about an impending hurricane is especially upsetting.

 

The reverse is true for seniors who live in elder-care communities. They may decide to purchase water, flashlights or batteries, but other than that, they can rest assured that they will be well cared for.

NATIONAL HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS: IS YOUR HOME INSURED AND PREPARED?

Now is the time to prepare for an anticipated active Hurricane Season


· Residents should review flood and homeowners insurance policies prior to Hurricane Season to ensure appropriate coverage
· Seminole County residents receive a 20% discount on flood insurance because of County’s flood mitigation activities

“Power restoration make take an extended amount of time, debris could remain curbside for several weeks, licensed building contractors will have filled workloads and prolonged repair times, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency does not necessarily assume financial responsibility for private property damage,” said Alan Harris, Seminole County Chief Administrator of the Office of Emergency Management.

Now is the time to prepare. Seminole County’s Office of Emergency Management offers these tips to help homeowners prepare for the threat of severe weather:

Home Supplies: Typical disaster kits are essential for immediate life safety issues. Additional recovery kit items to consider include tools and supplies to help protect homes, such as blue tarps, sandbags, boards, nails, and other small hardware items which may alleviate additional damage after a storm passes.

Insurance: Homeowners and flood insurance policies should be reviewed now. In accordance with Florida law, policies are active once effectuated. However, in some cases, new flood insurance policies may require a 30-day waiting period. Flood insurance should be considered, even for properties outside of a designated floodplain. In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. To aid homeowners, Seminole County, and most municipalities, have adopted the Community Rating System, providing discounts to flood insurance consumers.    

Seminole County’s Office of Emergency Management suggests contacting insurance agents for specific policy details. For more general questions about insurance, Florida's Chief Financial Office Division of Consumer Services offers a hotline, 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).

Seminole County continues to recover in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The County has also updating training, equipment, and procedures for the upcoming hurricane season. A Countywide Hurricane Exercise will take place on June 1st, and include question and answer sessions through online chat. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to visit www.preparesemninole.org to find additional Hurricane Season preparedness tips.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

 

Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. Weather experts predict that the 2019 hurricane season will be "active ." Hurricane Irma served as a stark reminder that it is imperative to prepare your family and home for potential hurricanes.

 

Have a Plan - Prior to the threat of a disaster, families can create a personalized Family Disaster Plan at FloridaDisaster.org/GetaPlan. This site provides checklists and important steps to take before, during and after the disaster.

Home Repair - Be cautious of repair businesses or individuals who solicit door-to-door in the wake of a hurricane. Check each contractor's address, license and complaint history prior to hiring by calling the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395, or visit their website at MyFloridaLicense.com.

Food Safety - Power may go out due to storm winds, potentially affecting food storage. Get food safety tips at FreshFromFlorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Food-Safety.

Generator Safety - Portable generators are useful during power outages, but they can also be dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur from generators or grills when they are used indoors, in partially enclosed spaces, or near vents or windows that allow fumes to enter your home.

Keep these Hurricane Food essentials on hand to ride out the storm

Now is the time to stock up on emergency foods—with a focus on non-perishable food—so that you can weather the storm with plenty to eat. (There's more to hurricane preparedness than items we eat, of course—at the very least make sure to keep a flashlight, different types of batteries, a non-electric can opener and a first aid kit in your hurricane kit.) So before you hit the grocery store, take a look at this hurricane checklist for the best survival foods you can buy.

Non-perishable foods

According to the FDA, non-perishable foods—foods that are shelf-stable, and don't need to be refrigerated or cooked—should be the first items you throw in your grocery cart. Here's a list of non-perishable items you should stock up for and can enjoy throughout the storm.

1. Bottled water.

Your water may not be drinkable after a storm, so purchase bottled water you can drink and cook with post-Hurricane or any other natural disaster. Be sure to buy at least one gallon of water per person per day for no less than three days, FEMA recommends. (For a family of three, that's nine gallons of water.)

2. Canned foods such as tuna, salmon, vegetables, or fruits.

Many canned products can last up to a year on your shelf, according to the CDC. What's more, these products are ready to eat—no cooking required. Though, we imagine canned green beans or peas taste better heated. Canned foods should stay safe in the storm, but the FDA says you can pack them in plastic bags for added security. Just be sure to check the cans haven't bulged before you open them up.

3. Instant soup mixes.

You can whip up a piping hot meal over your gas stove with nothing more than an instant soup or noodle pack—think: ramen noodles and your bottled water. The single-serving pouches ensure you won't have to worry about refrigerating leftovers.

4. Peanut butter.

You probably already have peanut butter in your house, but make sure it's notnatural peanut butter, which must be refrigerated after opening. This spread will last you long after the storm passes, giving you another source protein you don't have to cook.

5. Cereal.

You may not be able to make eggs and toast during the storm, so settle for cereal, which is shelf-stable for up to a year and the right ones can supply a bevy of healthy grains to your diet.

6.Nuts and trail mixes
Stock up on these high-energy foods—they’re healthful and convenient for snacking. Look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness.

7.Granola bars and power bars
Healthy and filling, these portable snacks usually stay fresh for at least six months. Plus, they’re an excellent source of carbohydrates. “You can get more energy from carbohydrates without [eating] tons of food,” 

 

Emergency Food

Some items don't have to be non-perishable to be eaten in a storm. Here are some to buy.

1. Apples.

While apples will eventually go bad, they're one of the longest-lasting fruits you can buy.

2. Canned marinara sauce.

If you stocked up on dry pasta—which you should, as it's shelf-stable almost indefinitely—you'll be happy to pair it with a prepared (and canned) sauce.

3. Boxed potatoes.

Read the labels and purchase boxed potatoes that use only water or milk to make. They'll last for six months, and make a tasty side dish for your canned meats.

4. Crackers.

Pair crackers with your peanut butter for an instant snack packed with protein. They can last up to six months—but buy the dry, crisp variety to reach that longer shelf life.

5. Soy or almond milk.

If you lose power, you may still need milk—but it won't be safe to drink it from your fridge for very long. So buy shelf-stable soy or almond milk you can easily add to your cereal. You can also buy powdered milk, which can last for up to six months.

6.Multivitamins
Supplements will help replace the nutrients you would have consumed on a normal diet

When Using a Generator: Keep it O.A.D.
Outside Away and Dry
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that can cause sudden illness and death if present in sufficient concentration in the ambient air. To protect you and your loved ones the Florida Department of Health urges Floridians to keep your generators outside, away, and dry! 
Other Supplies 

When you are collecting supplies make sure you have enough of everything for at least two weeks. Keep them in airtight containers or plastic bags. Some basic items, not including food and water might include:
 

  • Clean containers for storing drinking water: Figure you will need a gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Have a two-week supply on hand for each person. Use clean containers for storing drinking water. Food-grade plastic containers that have screw caps, such as 2-liter soda bottles, are best. Plastic milk jugs, though they can be leaky, will do in a pinch.

  • Gallon-sized freezer bags for making ice: You'll want to fill them with water and freeze as many as you can a few days before the storm is expected to arrive.

  • Household bleach, without lemon scent, to purify water.

  • Tools: hammer and nails; ax or hatchet; crowbar; screwdrivers; pliers; a drill (consider battery-powered) with screwdriver bits and adapters to install bolts; extra fasteners and bolts for shutters; a knife; handsaw.

  • Duct tape and masking tape.

  • Flashlight for each member of the family with extra batteries

  • Radio or battery-powered TV with extra batteries

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Lantern with extra fuel or batteries

  • Matches: Wooden kitchen matches are best. Keep them dry in a plastic bag or plastic film container.

  • A charcoal or gas grill with a supply of fuel so you can cook if you are left without electricity or gas. Never use a grill inside.

  • Fuel for your generator or chain saw

  • Sterno stove, with extra fuel

  • Oven mitts, for handling hot cookware.

  • Disposable plastic eating utensils, to help you save water.

  • Hand-operated can opener

  • Soap with a covered plastic container

  • Toiletries

  • Toilet paper. Keep it dry in plastic bags.

  • Needle and thread

  • Mosquito repellent

  • A first aid kit See a list of suggested items here.

  • Extra prescription medications, enough for a month.

  • Disposable diapers and wipes

  • Cat litter, which also is good for soaking up spills.

  • A two week supply of food for your pets

  • Several boxes of garbage bags, with ties, to collect refuse and store goods to keep them dry.

  • Large plastic trash cans with sealing lids work well for the storage of most items. As alternatives, try duffel bags, camping backpacks or cardboard boxes.

  • Rope or heavy cord. Get 100 feet. It can be useful an many ways. As a clothesline, for example.

  • Tarpaulin, canvas or 6-mil plastic sheeting. Good for making temporary roof repairs or tents.

  • Safety razor blades

  • Whistle or air horn

  • Money (most ATMs will not be operational)

  • PET Supplies:
     

  • ___Dog/Cat Food

  • ___Leash

  • ___Water Bowl

  • ___Carrier

  • BABY Supplies:
     

  • ___Formula/Baby Food

  • ___Disposable Diapers

  • ___Wipes

  • ___Diaper Rash ointment

  • ___Extra Clothes

  • ___Toys

Evacuation 

Plan to Evacuate

A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for an immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.

Before an Evacuation

  • Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation, and shelter plans for each specific disaster.

  • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.

    • Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.

    • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.

    • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.

    • Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.

  • Develop a family/household communication and re-unification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and re-unite if you are separated.

  • Assemble supplies that are ready for evacuation, both a “go-bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling by longer distances if you have a personal vehicle. 

  • If you have a car:

    • Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.

    • Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.

  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.

During an Evacuation

  • A list of open shelters can be found on 

  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.

  • Take your emergency supply kit.

  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.

  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.

  • If time allows:

    • Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.

    • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.

    • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.

    • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.

    • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.

    • Check with neighbors who may need a ride.

  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.

  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.

After an Evacuation

If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.

  • Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities, and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.

  • Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.

  • Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power-outages continue.

  • Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.

  • Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.

  • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. 

  • Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.

  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.

Copyright © 2017 Orlando Senior Help Desk. All rights reserved. Terms of Use
Orlando's Senior Help Desk is a free service of the Jewish Pavilion. We are financially supported by our generous sponsors and participating communities. Information provided is not to be considered medical or financial advice and users should consult with a licensed professional before making any final decisions. Orlando's Senior Help Desk and the Jewish Pavilion complies with the Can-Spam Act of 2003. "A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.  Reg # CH29417 Exp. 4/29/2020"

Call us:

407-678-9363

Email us at:

info@orlandoseniorhelpdesk.org

Find us: 

421 Montgomery Road #131

Altamonte Springs, Fl  32714

Tax ID The Jewish Pavilion 86-1082060