If you follow social media at all, there was a woman searching for her Floridian grandparents following the hurricane. No one in the family had heard from them, and they were panicked as the area where the grandparents lived saw 15-foot storm surges. The good news is that they were fine, but it does raise awareness of the importance of emergency plans.
No matter where your dad lives, weather events like tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, and flooding rains can happen at any time. Sometimes, you don't get a lot of notice. Has your family talked about his plan if there is a storm and what steps he would take to stay safe? It's important to have this conversation.
Pack an Emergency Supply Kit
Pack a supply kit that carries your dad through a few days. In a water-tight container, pack some foods like canned vegetables, soups, and canned tuna or chicken. Add some cracker packages, water bottles, and granola bars. Pouches of applesauce are also helpful.
Add a first aid kit, batteries and a flashlight, candles and matches, and books or puzzles to keep him busy. If there is a storm and he's stuck at home alone, he'll have what he needs to eat and things to do.
Weather Forecasts Are Not 100% Accurate
Even if a storm is not supposed to hit your dad's area, make sure he takes precautions. Many storms end up tracking north, south, east, or west of the forecasted zone. Originally, Hurricane Ian was targeted to hit Tampa Bay. It ended up making landfall about two hours south. Some people opted not to evacuate due to the incorrect prediction.
Your family needs to remember that forecasts can be wrong. If there's a chance your dad will be impacted by a weather event, make sure he puts safety first. If he can leave his home and stay with friends or family, he should. If not, make sure he has supplies like non-perishable food, water, medications, and candles.
Know His Immediate Care Needs
If roads are closed due to heavy snowfall, floods, or ice, make sure your dad's immediate care needs are tended to. If he takes heart medications, make sure he knows when to take them and how many pills.
What if he can't do that? You can't be certain there will be phone service. If you can't get to him, arrange to have a neighbor walk over and check on him. If that's not possible, consider having him stay with someone else when a storm is due or arrange home care check-ins.
When you live too far away to check in often, make sure your dad has a caregiver checking in on him. Home care services include companionship visits. A caregiver stops in, sees how your dad's doing, and alerts you or other contacts if there is anything he needs or if something is up. Call a home care agency to learn more.