The Best Emergency Elder Care And Disaster Preparedness Plans

When you have to consider older adults in the disaster preparedness scenario of yours, Emergency Elder Care takes a lot of work. FEMA doesn’t really cover this topic well. Our senior citizens require a few extra thoughts when a disaster occurs. Some matters caregivers must consider are:

  • Whether to evacuate
  • Emergency cash and fuel
  • Special needs
  • Elder’s medications and vital records
  • Emergency evacuation of bedridden elders
  • Communications problems during disasters
  • General emergency supplies
  • Comforting a frightened elder
The Best Emergency Elder Care And Disaster Preparedness Plans article cover image

Emergency Elder Care And Disaster Preparedness

Deciding Whether to Evacuate

When it comes to disaster planning in geriatric care management, caregivers must first decide whether it is safe (or even possible) to shelter-in-place.

  • Will the house be in danger of a tree crushing it?
  • Is the area prone to flooding?
  • Is the house likely to lose power? For how long?
  • Is the elder loved one on a special needs list with the utility companies?

Caregivers should assume they will receive no help from first responders, emergency management agencies, or healthcare providers. So, caregivers need an excellent emergency disaster plan!

If evacuating, caregivers must decide where they can go ahead of time. Is it possible to shelter with friends or relatives? Ask now. Do not wait until the disaster arrives to find out.

Emergency Cash and Fuel

Caregivers must also have cash on hand. Carefully consider family size and needs to ensure enough money on hand at all times to care for the family at least two weeks.

If immediate evacuation becomes necessary, on a Sunday, for example, banks will be closed, and ATMs will run out of money quickly. In the wake of major disasters, banks won’t open at all–maybe for weeks. ATMs cannot work without electricity. Merchants will refuse checks and credit cards.

It is wise to keep vehicles’ fuel tanks mostly full as well. If a fire is roaring over the hill, the last thing a caregiver needs is to have to stop for fuel before evacuating the danger zone! Check tires and fluid levels regularly, too. Finally, make sure the vehicle has a working jack and practice using it.

Geriatric Care Management for Seniors with Special Needs

Elderly individuals may have many special needs. They are especially vulnerable to heat and cold. Even limited exposure to temperature extremes can rapidly result in a life-or-death crisis. Will heating or air conditioning be available while sheltering-in-place or at the planned destination?

Many infirm seniors are oxygen-dependent. Oxygen concentrators require electricity. Have spare oxygen tanks available and ready to pack and go at a moment’s notice. Special needs shelters will not have oxygen available for elder loved ones. Caregivers must provide their own.

Before depending on a generator to operate special equipment, a caregiver must know how to use the generator safely and must be sure he can obtain fuel over the long term.

Elders’ Medications and Vital Records during Emergencies

This might be one of the most important things while looking at Emergency Elder Care. It is best to keep infirm elders’ medications and copies of their prescriptions stored together in a waterproof tote. This helps to prevent last-minute scrambling to find medications. The same storage technique works well for small medical equipment, too, like blood pressure cuffs, lancets, blood sugar monitors, etc.

Regarding records that are vital in an emergency, Durable Powers of Attorney and Living Wills top the list. Keep these and Drivers’ Licenses, Social Security cards, Medicare and Medicaid cards together with Home Health Care folders, doctors’ names, and contact information in their briefcase.

Emergency Evacuation of Bedridden Elderly

Know that shelters will not accept unique beds often needed by the bedridden. Elders staying in special needs shelters will have to sleep on cots, aggravating, or initiating pressure wounds. Some special needs shelters may not allow caregivers to remain with their loved ones. Become well informed regarding special needs sheltering options!

Additionally, many bedridden elders have developed severe contractures of the legs, arms, and spine. It can be nearly impossible to find a safe and proper position in a vehicle for placing elders who aren’t able to bend. If the caregiver is unsure about this, he should do a dry run to see how people and emergency supplies will fit.

Communications Problems during Disasters

It is important to note that communications inevitably break down during severe disasters. During the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005, telephone communications were out for weeks. After land-line phone services were restored, circuits were jammed by families trying to find or check on one another.

TV stations and internet services were out of commission. Cordless telephones did not work without electricity. Only cell phones with texting ability were useful. Texting won’t be very helpful, however, when power is unavailable for recharging.

Discuss disaster preparedness plans in advance. Let friends and family know where each party will be, and of alternative means of contact for reunion purposes.

Emergency Food, Water, Clothing

The American Red Cross offers excellent suggestions and checklists to get families started in emergency planning preparations. They explain how much drinking water should be available per person. They also describe what sorts of foods and other supplies are appropriate for stocking in advance of an emergency.

Yet, most resources do not cover preparing a dependent senior for such situations. In preparing elders for an immediate evacuation, keep a backpack ready for loved ones; pre-packed with a change of clothing, a toothbrush and personal items, an excellent book or game, a few favorite snacks, and even a teddy bear.

In predictable disasters, like hurricanes, include these “non-standard” supplies:

  • Depends or other disposable undergarments
  • Draw-sheets for turning or lifting the bedridden
  • Disposable bed-liners for a comfortable, sanitary sleeping environment

Comforting Elders during a Disaster

Dementia patients are very easily disturbed by changes in routine. Be sure demented elders have some of their favorite foods and pastimes available to them. Many dementia patients seem to have an excessive desire for sweets. A supply of cookies, candies, and gum can add to their peace and happiness. Coloring books, playing cards, or favorite music can all help keep demented seniors happily occupied.

Still, having her calm prepared caregiver nearby will give the greatest sense of comfort and safety of all! Well-prepared caregivers insure themselves and their loved ones the very best chance of survival in any disaster situation.

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Best Generator to Keep Your Family Functioning?

Best Generator? It depends on your actual needs. You’re going to need a way to have some electricity when there’s no way for you to get any. Besides having solar panels in place, you should also have a generator. Not only are these good to have for when a pandemic hits, but they also come in handy during any time the power goes out. 

Best Generator to Keep Your Family Functioning?

The size of the generator you purchase is going to depend on a few different factors. When you need power, you have to figure out what you need the energy for – because various appliances use different amounts of wattage. 

Best Generator to Keep Your Family Functioning

You can find these listed in the appliance owner’s manual or through an online search, but you need to know because it determines the type of generator that you need. 

You don’t want to figure in useless appliances that will waste your fuel. It’s better to hand wash the dishes than to burn up fuel by using the dishwasher. You figure out the size that you need by listing the items that you’re going to have to use electricity for. 

For example, most people want a generator that can power a refrigerator and a freezer that is stocked full of food for the months ahead so that they don’t lose that storage. 

Best Generator to Keep Your Family Functioning?

You figure out what you need by looking up how much wattage it takes to run each of the items you want to run. You add those to give you the total wattage amount. You want to buy a generator with the wattage power that can handle all of this.

So you would look for one with the wattage capacity that was more than you need to run your most significant wattage appliance. It takes about 700 watts to run a refrigerator. 

That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add a furnace and electronics, the wattage use creeps up. These items also draw wattage upon starting, so you have to figure that in, too. It takes more wattage to start most things than to keep them running. 

You want to choose a generator that’s carefully matched to the wattage use that you need. If you only need 3,000 watts, don’t select a generator that can power more than twice that because you’re just burning up the gas that it takes to run the generator. 

Most homes can be run on 5,000 watts. But those are running watts, so you have to take into consideration what it takes to start up. A generator of about 7,500 watts could efficiently run a home. 

Because the generator will need gas, you’ll need to store that safely to prevent any problems with it. Keep your supply locked away and hidden. Store gasoline in gas-approved containers – but since you want to have this in bulk, you can find the larger containers that will hold more. 

Some people suggest using steel drums, and you can buy these online. Whatever amount of gas you store, it will only keep for about a year before it starts to break down. However, there are additives like PRI that you can buy that can restore the gas. 

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Tools To Have On Hand When The SHTF

Things happen, and the least you want to happen is not having the requisite tools to take care of the new reality. Daily, we are faced with a lot of tasks that require us to utilize some tools our handyman would use. However, there is a major problem – we don’t always have the tools needed, and we have to end up calling someone, But have you ever stopped to look at how you could benefit yourself if you have the things you need?

tools to have article cover image

Not only will you learn how to do things yourself but you will save a lot of money too because we will all admit a lot of these contractors can be really expensive. So, there are certain tools you need on hand to help you get the job done whenever they pop up…  

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Tools To Have On Hand When The Shit Hits The Fan


Knives serve so many purposes; it is a must to have at home. From needing it to slice the bread down to cutting off that extra piece of an item hanging off that’s causing a problem. Knives are important, and always having one will give you benefits such as…

* Safety – Staying safe is the best option, and a knife can help you achieve this feat against those who may want to attack you.

* Survival – Emergencies are never foreseen, and when it strikes, you will need to get yourself out of it. A knife will help you to achieve the highest level of survival and get yourself out of any mess.

* Camping – Camping is a tricky activity, and a knife will help you get a lot of things done like getting a fire started or cutting your way to source food.

Folding Shovel

Bulk materials are always in the way, and you may need a shovel to move the things around, especially like digging and lifting. Moving things around is required, and there is no way you want to hire someone to do the work you can easily do yourself.

Gardening Tools

garden tools to have when The SHTF

Now more than ever, backyard gardening will become a new norm, and the tools are needed to get the jobs done. A few gardening tools like a small shovel, a machete, and a few others. It will allow you to do something you love and earn lots of benefits from it.

Fishing Line

Fishing lines are generally strong, and they can do a lot of things around the home. Your garden would do well with this item, especially when it comes to tying your plants to keep upright or even keeping items intact. They are flexible and will help you to take care of lots of tasks around the home and even for other outdoor activities.

Screws & Screwdriver; Hammer & Nails

Keeping things together can sometimes be proven hard, and a few knocks of a nail or screwing a few bolts in will give you the advantage. You never know what will happen, and you need to build storage inside or out, or you will need to get a barrier should anything happen. In addition to having these items, a hammer will also be needed. 

metal duct tape

Metal Duct Tape

This type of duct tape is not the same as the regular duct tape, as this one has a stronger bondability and can keep things together better. It is flexible to use and can be used to do a lot of things to include…

* Cover Opening – There may be a hole in your pipe or on your wood structure, and you need to seal it. Metal duct tape is efficient to keep it concealed and not cause any further issues.

* Signaling – Especially at night, you might be out doing some work, and allowing passersby to identify you is important. Take, for instance, you are out working on the road, you will need drivers to identify you easily and should you not have a work vest on hand, the metal duct tape will help to show you up clearer.

Pliers; Wrench Set

The need to tighten a few things around the home or at the office always comes up, and what better way to take care of it yourself than to have the tools required to do the job successfully. Having pliers and a wrench set will help you get practical and correct any fault you may encounter. Also, they are efficient tools needed in the case of an emergency.

pliers  tools to have when The SHTF

Bolt Cutters

Emergencies always happen when you least expect it, and pulling a safety barrier apart is most times impossible when you don’t have access to keys or opening tools. A Bolt Cutter will help you achieve the feat of pulling things apart to solve any issues you are facing. If you are doing renovations, this tool will come in handy.


Everything on this list is important, but what you probably need to get also is a few tools that are flexible and can do multiple tasks. When you think about getting multi-tools, you could consider a few like… 

* Portable Pump – There’s nothing more annoying than getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and having to wait hours before the emergency team gets to you. An air pump will come in handy and not only for that reason but other activities around the home. They are also great to take on your camping trips.

There are also other tools you should get that serve multiple purposes, such as those that have a lot of compartments (knife, clips, cutters, etc.).

These tools, among many others, are important to have on your person no matter where you are. If you are not sure how to take them around with you, you can easily have a box in your trunk in which you put all these items. You will never regret taking these with you because, as we noted, emergencies don’t give a warning when they are coming.

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Youth and Natural Disasters: Prepping for Survival

On October 25th, 2010, Indonesia was hit by a triple natural disaster. It is our responsibility to teach our children how to survive catastrophic events like this as when prepared? Youth and Natural Disasters are easier to handle: you help them take “ownership” of the event by teaching them to be prepared.

Youth and Natural Disasters: prepping for survival fire picture for front of article

Beginning on October 25th, 2010, Indonesia was blindsided by a triple natural hazard that turned catastrophic. The 7.7 earthquake shook Sumatra; only minutes later, a lethal tsunami pounded the shore. Then Mount Marapi began its devastating eruption.

Our Earth changes rapidly. We must be flexible to change with our environment. To do this, we must have an understanding of how our world works. This is true for our children as well.

Too often, we neglect to discuss natural hazards and disaster preparedness with our children. Maybe we feel they are too young. Perhaps we do not wish to worry them about something that may not happen. Or perhaps it is because we lack the information they should know.

Youth and Natural Disasters: How to Prep for Survival

Here are some quick things we can do to make sure we make a difference about how our kids handle things.


Even if we have had conversations with our children about these unexpected dangers, a deeper look into these phenomena will help our children and us subdue our fears while gaining knowledge. This will help us better prepare for and deal with a catastrophic event with a level head.

A huge part of communication is listening. Listen to your child. Their questions are critical. They may also have some excellent ideas that we have not thought of.


Our children must understand what to do and why. We teach them to call 911, to look both ways when crossing a street, and not to talk to strangers. We explore the reasons why with our child. We do this to help keep them safe even when we are not close by.

The last thing needed during an emergency is someone panicking. If we do not know what to do, it is frustrating and can become terrifying. During natural disasters, children are especially susceptible to anxiety, fear, and injury.

Natural disasters do not always come with a warning. Know what to look and listen for. This gives us precious seconds to take action and get to safety.

How to help kids deal with a fire

Our impact on our living world can directly influence the severity of the hazard. There are times catastrophes could have been avoided. Educate your Youth and Natural Disasters aren’t going to be as scary.


Surviving the initial incident is only part of what your children need to know. They also need to understand how to function in the aftermath. This could include evacuation, relocation, dealing with injuries, and eventually foraging for food and water.

Understanding it could be a long time before things are back to normal is very important for your child. Your survival kit is only a temporary solution. Show them where to find fresh water and food. Learn how to make a temporary shelter with your children.

helping a kid with surviving an earthquake

Haiti has shown us the need to learn about illnesses and infections and how to avoid them or deal with them. Another critical issue is teaching children how to stay clean and avoid contaminated waters.

Education & Research

Involve your children in helping to prepare a survival kit. Discuss with them why you want to make the kit. Ask the kids what things they believe should be put in them and why. Be sure to talk with your child about the different situations the kit may be useful in.

how to help kids survive a tornado

Research our living world with your child. It will be enlightening and exciting. Learn how the Earth changes and how those transformations can directly affect us. Pay particular attention to hazards common to the area you live in. If you change your residence and move to a new region, update your knowledge, as well as your survival kit.

Recognize that this does not mean only learning what to do during an event, but what caused that event in the first place, and what to do after the event. Replace the mystery with knowledge.

Exploration & Experimentation

Learning about Earth’s forces will beckon us to explore our part of the world. Take educational field trips. Learn about natural historical events of your region. Above all, ask questions and search for answers. You and your child are an investigative team. Learn all you can, search for clues, and enjoy Mother Nature.

Children learn through doing. Preparing for the unexpected is no different. Have practice drills for hazards you may face. Find science models and experiments to give kids a visual link to what they’ve learned.

how to help a kid survive a natural disaster

Natural disasters frequently sneak upon us. The quicker we can recover from the surprise, the faster we are able to take action, and the longer we can sustain it. With education, practice, and discussion, our children can be the voice of reason in emergency situations. Give our children a fighting chance.

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Youth and Natural Disasters

5 Books on Survival You Should Get Now

If you’re in a situation with a pandemic or other survival situation and you don’t feel prepared for it, you can stock up your house with books that will help you learn the necessary skills. At the very least, you’ll have tools that teach you even if you don’t have all of the supplies you’d like to have.

5 Books on Survival You Should Get Now

Our list of books on survival should make you a solid library for any future emergency.

Five Books on Survival You Should Order Before Your Internet Goes Out

I know we have talked about books to get before – but those were more of a Sci-Fi “what if” kind of book that took a lot of possible things into consideration. They opened the doors for family conversation and helped you make a list of possible things to brush up on and learn more about.

Make sure you check out what we said were great reads for preppers…even though today, we are talking about getting more “manual” type of books for your prepper library.

OUTDOOR LIFE – The Ultimate Survival Manual – 333 SKILLS That Will Get YOU Out Alive by Simon & Schuster

5 Books on Survival You Should Get Now skills book

If you want a reference book that helps you learn the skills you need when you need them, you can’t beat this definitive guide. It’s full of hundreds of skills, from building fires to searching for shelter to handling first aid situations. Get this book HERE.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A guide for when help is NOT on the way by Joseph Alton

5 Books on Survival You Should Get Now medicine book

We’d all like to think we can call an ambulance or police officer to help us in times of need, but in a survival situation, you may only be able to count on yourself. 

This guide is a gem that will help you treat all types of health problems from minor first aid to major chronic illness. This book won’t give you a medical degree, but it can help you to cope when there’s no expert by your side. You can get it HERE.

Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods by Thomas Elias and Peter Dykeman

5 Books on Survival You Should Get Now plant book

If you have to survive and you don’t have a garden already planted, this guide will help you to learn which plants you can eat and which ones you should stay away from. In a situation that requires you to forage for food, this field guide will give you the information you need. We found it HERE.

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) by Steve Solomon

Gardening is one of the best ways that you can learn to survive in a difficult situation. But if you have no experience gardening, it may seem very overwhelming. This book is a complete guide to gardening to help you get started. While you’re at it, you also need to begin ordering seeds as soon as you can. Check it out HERE. You also might want to check out our sister site

SurvivalNations – Surviving a Disease Pandemic (Survival-Survival Planning Book 1) by Dr. Leland Benton

All survival situations have specific needs – and a pandemic brings certain risks and needs for survival. This book explains how pandemics spread. It also tells you what you need to do to protect yourself, as well as your family, in the event of a worldwide disease outbreak. You can get it HERE.

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Emergency Winter Car Survival Kit – with free printable

The North Shore Emergency Management Office of North Vancouver and West Vancouver has provided a list of emergency preparedness supplies and emergency survival actions if you become stranded in your car during a snowstorm. If these Winter Car Survival Kit tips are good for Canada, which is colder often than the US, they should more than work for us too!

Emergency Winter Car Survival Kit

Established in 1978, the North Shore Emergency Management Office (NSEMO) serves the Vancouver, Canada metropolitan area. Among its responsibilities are to administer volunteer emergency response teams, provide community education about preparedness for diverse situations that would endanger individuals or the population, and coordinate regional emergency planning.

Winter Car Survival Kit Tips

Two Means of Emergency Survival in Your Car in Winter Snow

The NSEMO website provides information on winter storm preparedness, including your best chance to survive being stranded in the snow in your car. There are two vital elements of survival. The first is preparation – the supplies to carry in your vehicle during a severe winter – and the second is taking the correct actions to survive in your car while waiting for rescue.

Supplies for Emergency Survival in Your Car in a Snowstorm

Winter Car Survival Kit checklist
This free printable checklist is designed to help you out – and has blank spaces for you to fill in

If you are aware of a coming storm, fill your car with gas. During winter, never let the tank go below half full. Here are the supplies suggested by NESEMO, embellished with some extra ideas to make a complete Winter Car Survival Kit:

  • Store extra clothing in your car, such as mittens that fit over your gloves, warm socks, a ski mask or wool hat, extra sweaters. Think of large size items that you can layer over what you are already wearing. Duplicate or even triplicate clothing items are important, such as snow caps and scarves. You can use the extras if the one you are wearing gets wet.
  • Wool stocking caps are particularly important, as body heat is quickly lost if the head is not covered. Caps can be layered just as easily as clothing: wear two or three, one over the other.
  • Blanket(s) or sleeping bag. Probably the only thing that will fit over your coat is a blanket or sleeping bag. Take a weighty, wool blanket or afghan.
  • Emergency “survival” blankets designed by NASA and made of mylar are said to retain 80% of body heat and are found on numerous websites.
  • Sturdy walking boots made to stay warm in snow and wet weather, with traction for ice. There are reasonably priced boots available that indicate the temperature they can withstand while still protecting from frostbite.
  • Keep a store of high-calorie non-perishable foods that can be consumed or melted in the mouth if frozen, such as raisins, chocolate, and energy bars.
  • Standard Emergency Kit including a flashlight, bright flag, or flares.
  • Water bottles can be stored in the car and kept from freezing by storing in a small cooler, packed with towels, and covered with the blankets you have on hand. Snow is not a good source of water, because it is 90% air and cools the body temperature as it melts.
  • The towels are also handy for wiping snow off the seat or drying parts of your body that get wet.
  • It is not a pleasant subject, but it is advisable to have a simple container with a lid for urine, which will add more warmth to the car. For women, a simple kitchen or auto fluid funnel can be helpful.

Correct Actions for Emergency Survival in a Car Stranded in Snow or Ice

It isn’t always about what is in your Winter Car Survival Kit. “Stranded” implies that it is too far to go for help. In sub-zero temperatures, it can be life-threatening to attempt even a small distance on foot, especially if snow is deep and walking is difficult. Here is a condensed version of what NSEMO recommends:

  • Stay in your car, except to check periodically to make sure your exhaust pipe is not clogged with ice or snow and to put up a flag on your antenna or another visible place. In modern cars with no visible antenna, be prepared with something to position a flag.
  • Turn on your hazard lights. In remote areas, be sure your emergency kit has flares. Light the flares.
  • Run the engine and heat every ten minutes each hour. When the engine is on, crack a (downwind) window slightly to maintain oxygen.
  • Turn on your dome light (ceiling light) and not your headlights to save the battery. Or use light from your emergency kit.
  • Exercise your extremities such as arms, legs, feet, and toes to maintain body heat and circulation.
  • If there are two people in the car, never sleep at the same time, or you may miss an opportunity for rescuers to find your vehicle.
Emergency Winter Car Survival Kit

Blizzard of 1997 Fatalities Due to Lack of Emergency Preparedness

Statistics from the blizzard of 1997 in Colorado and North Dakota, where one would expect people to be prepared, had the highest incidence of death due to winter storms. It was noted that many people did not take the dangers of snow and blizzard conditions seriously enough and drove on the weekend.

Fatalities from being stranded in vehicles were mainly caused by failed attempts to seek help and carbon monoxide poisoning. Males were more likely to die than females at a rate of over two to one.

A possible explanation given was that men might have been more likely to venture out in the storm and more likely to have left the car to seek help.

Emergency Survival in Your Car in a Snowstorm Preparedness and Caution

Common sense and following the advice provided by NSEMO are your best chance for survival in your car in blizzard conditions. Taking winter storm warnings seriously and, if possible, staying indoors, is the most important advice of all, but make sure your Winter Car Survival Kit is in place.

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