In the past, we’ve shared information on our blog about helping a senior loved one prepare for winter. We covered tips that ranged from home heating safety to getting the car winterized. This year, we wanted to take time to share safety tips for helping a senior loved one who lives alone be prepared for a winter storm.

Be Prepared for Winter Storms and Power Outages

After last year’s record breaking winter snow and cold, seniors may be afraid of what the next few months of weather might bring. Helping them have an emergency storm plan can relieve their anxiety and keep them safe.

Here are 10 tips from the experts at The American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

  1. Put together an emergency stash of food and water. You should have at least a three day supply of water and non-perishable food items. Don’t forget to include a manual can opener, silverware and paper products.
  2. Have flashlights and extra batteries in several locations on every level of your house.
  3. Have a battery-operated or hand-crank weather radio and extra batteries.
  4. Set up a medication kit that includes at least a seven day supply of each medicine. Don’t forget to include the supplies you need such as syringes and testing strips.
  5. Have a cell phone that you keep charged up at all times when bad weather is predicted.-Keep an extra supply of sanitation and personal hygiene items on hand.
  6. Set up an easy-to-grab file of important family contact information, medication lists, insurance documents, passports and more.
  7. Have a small amount of cash hidden somewhere in the house in case you need it during an emergency.
  8. Don’t forget to keep enough food, water and other necessary supplies for your pets.
  9. Have an adequate supply of coats, mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets for every member of the home. Dressing in layers is generally the best way to stay warm if the power goes out.
  10. If you have a fireplace, make sure you have enough wood to last for at least three to five days.

To help older adults be better prepared for emergencies, The American Red Cross and AARP developed a new guide you can download at no cost. Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Older Adults offers additional insight into topics ranging from “how to decide when to evacuate” to “creating a personal support network”.