Emergency planning is one of the most important things to talk about as a family. If there was a fire in your parents’ house, what would happen? What about a flood, hurricane, tornado, or blizzard?
Make sure they know what to do. Hold a family discussion and come up with a plan that has you, your siblings, and your parents all on the same page.
Factors to Consider When Making Plans
When the family is gathered, come up with a list of the emergencies your mom and dad would face. If they live in a mountain region away from the coast, the risk of a hurricane is unlikely. They may deal with flooding, blizzards, and fires, however.
Take each of the potential emergencies and talk about the plans your parents would follow. If flooding occurs and they must be evacuated, where would they stay? Who is responsible to ensure they have left their home? Are there pets that would need to be housed until they could return home? If so, who can take the pets?
Find out which neighbor would be most reliable in emergencies like a house fire. Your parents need to go somewhere to call the fire department, who would you want them going to? For a blizzard, who is closest to check that vents are free of snow and ice and can get the driveway, doors, and sidewalks cleared of snow?
Have you considered the use of technology to cover some of the aspects of storm-related emergencies? You could use a smart thermostat to check the temperature within your parents’ house. Leak detectors can send alerts if below zero weather causes one of the pipes to freeze and burst.
If there is a tornado warning, where would your parents go? Look at their home’s layout and pick out the safest areas to be during that tornado. Make sure they know where to go and how long to stay in that spot.
Where to Post The Emergency Plans
Get a pocket folder and attach magnet strips to the back. Put an instruction sheet for each type of emergency in that folder and stick it to the side of the refrigerator. Keep a master copy on a computer so that they can be reprinted as needed.
Elder care services can be with your parents when you can’t. They can make sure your parents are safe during an emergency. You benefit by spending less time worrying about them being alone. They benefit by having companionship from caregivers. They also have the help they need when it’s needed. Talk about prices and schedules by calling an elder care agency.