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Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Seniors in Pasco County

As hurricane season approaches, it's crucial for everyone, especially seniors, to prepare for the potential impacts of these powerful storms. For seniors, preparation might look different than in the past, as mobility constraints, health issues, and technological advancements change the way preparation steps are taken.

Seniors face unique challenges during hurricanes, including increased health risks, the need for regular medication, and possible mobility limitations. As we age, our needs evolve, and so should our approach to disaster readiness.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Seniors in Pasco County

Here are five key tips to help seniors prepare for hurricanes, keeping in mind that their needs may have changed:

  1. Reassess Your Evacuation Plan: Mobility may have changed, making previous evacuation plans outdated. Review and modify your evacuation plan to include current transportation needs, such as accessible vehicles or assistance services, and confirm that your planned route and destination are still suitable.

  2. Adapt Your Home for Increased Safety: Secure windows with storm shutters or high-impact glass to guard against debris, and set up a safe, accessible area stocked with essentials like water, food, and medications. Since securing your home could require additional time or assistance, it's important to plan well in advance and seek help if needed.

  3. Leverage Technology for Alerts: Utilize smartphones or tablets to receive emergency alerts and updates. Apps like FEMA and local weather services offer real-time notifications. If you're not comfortable with technology, ask a family member or caregiver to assist in setting up and teaching you how to use these tools.

  4. Communicate With A Support Network: Establish a communication plan with a network of support, including family, friends, neighbors, and local emergency services. Make sure they know your medical conditions, where your emergency supplies are, and your evacuation plan details.

Preparing for a hurricane as a senior requires careful consideration of how your needs might have changed over the years. By taking proactive steps to update your plans and supplies, you can ensure that you’re not only prepared but also have peace of mind during hurricane season. Regular updates and open communication with your support network can make all the difference when a storm approaches.

Photo of palm trees and waves in tropical storm

For local resources and hurricane preparedness tips for seniors in Pasco County check out this information from the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.

Pinellas and Pasco County, like other counties in Florida, are required to voluntarily register people who need evacuation assistance in the event of an emergency such as a hurricane. In an evacuation, appropriate vehicles will be sent to transport pre-registered residents to a public shelter, Special Needs Unit, or hospital. Transportation will not be provided to private destinations such as a relative’s home.

Make sure you explain your special needs clearly when registering, since dialysis, respirators, etc. may require very special accommodations while oxygen may be offered at several Special Needs Shelters. If your special needs require that you go to a hospital, consult with your physician about the need for a signed letter from him/her authorizing pre-admission. When you arrive at the hospital, staff will contact your physician for admission authorization.

NOTE: Medicare will only pay for hospitalization claims that are deemed medically necessary and therefore arrangements must be made in advance.

How To Register

Pasco: Call the Pasco County Emergency Management at 727-847-8137. For specific information on Special Needs and the Registration process, go to Pasco County Emergency Management.

Pinellas: Call Pinellas County Emergency Management, 727-464-3800, or your local fire department. For more local disaster information online (including the Pinellas County Surviving the Storm Guide), go to Pinellas County Emergency Management.

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