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When it comes to the hurricane season, South Carolina is one of the most vulnerable states in the nation. Obviously, coastal communities are the ones most in danger. However, inland areas are not immune to tropical storm events. Such weather conditions can produce high winds leading to damage to homes, power outages, fallen trees blocking roadways, and more. Therefore, it only makes sense to be prepared for any kind of weather emergency.

Why you Need to be Prepared

Disasters relating to extreme weather can be hard to deal with for anyone, but if you have an elderly or special needs person in your home, there are likely to be greater challenges. Because emergency situations can strike quickly and often without warning, having a plan will significantly reduce the chance of injury and stress to everyone in your home. So, Be Prepared is a motto not just for the Boy Scouts. You should take steps to be informed about the following:

  • Special assistance programs available in your area in the event of an emergency. Many communities have a system where people with disabilities can register so that help can be provided quickly. Registration is usually with the local police or fire department or the local emergency management office. 
  • Any emergency plans that are in place in your community. Find out if these plans take into consideration your specific needs, such as accessible transportation to get to essential medical treatment (e.g., dialysis) or reliance on electricity-dependent equipment. 
  • What system is in place for notifying people when a disaster may be on its way or is actually occurring.   

Eight Items to Have on Hand

Think about how a disaster might impact your daily routines. Here are eight items you should have in your home in readiness for the hurricane season or for any type of unforeseen disaster that may occur.

1. Water

Keep a three-day supply of water in your home at all times. A good rule of thumb is at least two gallons of water per person, per day (one gallon for drinking, the other for kitchen and bathroom needs).

2. Non-Perishable Foods

Canned fruit juices and canned foods and are the best options for high-energy nutrition without the need for cooking or refrigeration. However, make sure you have a manual can opener in your home. And, don’t forget to lay in a sufficient food supply and other necessities (such as kitty litter) for your pets.

3. Security Needs

A basic tool kit (e.g., for boarding up windows) and sandbags to make your home secure in the event of severe winds or flooding. 

4. Sanitation

Soap, toothpaste, denture care, feminine hygiene products, urine absorbing products, etc. 

5. First Aid

Keep a complete kit of medical essentials both inside your home and in each vehicle. Include an ample supply of germicidal wipes. 

6. SOS Signals

In the event that you need outside assistance or become isolated, a flashlight and loud whistle will greatly increase your chances of getting noticed. And always make sure you have extra batteries.

7. Waterproof Containers

In case you have to evacuate your home, keep several seal-tight containers handy for storing your wallet, cell phone, medications, important documents, extra clothing, photographs, etc. Make sure such containers are easy to carry.

8. Cash

Keep a minimum of $100 in cash (in small bills) in case ATMs are down.   

Get Started

Gather your family members around you to create a full disaster preparedness checklist. Working together will also help you remember all the necessities for your elderly, special needs, or other family members. If you are using the services of a personal caregiving company, be sure to let them know with whom you are registered. And, for information on the best in-home private care in the Columbia, SC area with Caring Healthcare, click here.