This is the season we prepare for weather. Some years ago I took classes from the Red Cross on Disaster Preparedness. Seniors and disabled folks are the most vulnerable in these times. Check on your senior neighbors and ask if they need your help. Make sure they have a plan and a support system.
I recommend to my clients a small portable Fire Safe they can take with them if they need to evacuate. It should contain a little cash for gas money and their most important papers. Often I hear “I have a lock box at the bank.” Banks are closed when the power is out. The banks in Katrina were underwater.
It is also very important to keep meds list up to date and keep that list with you.
Pets: Some folks will not want to leave their pets. There are shelters that take pets and pet boarding places too. Find out where those are in advance.
Let family know of a meeting place if you should get separated or the phones are down.
The Red Cross website has a list of things to think about if there is a big weather event:
In addition to the class, I also had the experience of working at a shelter during a hurricane. One thing I saw was denial. People saying I can go to the shelter later or wanting to leave early and go home when the weather did not seem “that bad.” Not taking it seriously. Hurricanes can fool you and it is important to be somewhere safe before the wind picks up. In Virginia 100,000 tress fell during Irene. There is also the danger of tornadoes, flooding and down power lines. Stay safe, stay inside.