Archived Story

Being Prepared for Home Emergencies

Published 10:00pm Monday, June 9, 2014

Wisdom for some comes with age, for others, not so much. When a potential older client or family members ask to meet us, we usually visit the prospective clients at their home. In addition to talking about our many services, we also ask potential clients a number of key questions that center on their caring for themselves day to day, including their level of preparedness for any unforeseen injury or emergency in the home or due to Mother Nature.
These meetings are helpful to most seniors, but in the cases where there is only one person in the home, or if one member of a household has memory loss issues, some of our suggestions can be critical, even lifesaving.
Let’s start with a basic necessities that should be in every home, a short-term emergency and survival kit to help you deal with a few days of isolation in the event of an electrical outage, rising waters or snow storms.  These are also great for the day to day accidents like cuts, burns and bruises.
Having a Home Emergency Kit makes a big difference in situations where you may be stuck at home without power or access to supplies. You should have enough of what are considered critical supplies to keep you healthy and safe until help arrives.
A well-stocked home emergency kit should include:
•     Water to last at least 3-days and up to 6-days estimating 1-gallon per person per day.
•    Foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration and are labeled nonperishable.
•    A manual can opener, a flashlight and either chemical light sticks or battery-driven lanterns.
•    A portable battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
•    Spare batteries, including hearing aid batteries if needed.
•    A first-aid kit designed for more than just small scrapes and cuts, spend the money, it’s worth it.
•    Waterproof matches and a sturdy utility knife.
•    At least a 1-week supply of the any prescription drugs taken daily.
•    An up-to-date list of all medications & dosages, an emergency contact list with phone & email.
•    A sufficient amount of cash on-hand.
•    A list of your primary doctors and specialists with addresses and phone numbers.
•    Make, model and serial number of all medical devices and their operating instructions.
•    Health insurance information, copies of Medicare cards, medical records & all key documents.
There are special additional steps that I suggest if there is an occupant with memory issues or who is a risk for wandering. Consider a Medical Alert system for emergencies, and enroll your loved one in the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program at 888-572-8566.
We can’t always predict Mother Nature, medical crises or accidents around the home, but we can always be prepared to deal with most of the unexpected situations that come our way.
Ron Kauffman is a Consultant & Expert on Medicare, the ACA (Obamacare) and Issues of Aging. His consulting practice serves clients in Henderson, Polk & Brevard Counties.  He is the author of Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease, available as a Kindle book on His podcasts can be heard weekly at Contact him at (828) 696-9799 or by email at:

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