Winter Storm Safety Checklist and Emergency Preparedness
Home safety tips for seniors involve preparing for the cold and potential winter and ice storms that present themselves.Emergency preparedness for winter is to keep the entire family safe as winter poses a danger to most everyone.
Exposure to cold overtime can cause frostbite, hypothermia and, eventually, death. The elderly are particularly susceptible to these dangers. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Shoveling or other strenuous activities can prove deadly, particularly for people who do no exercise regularly.
In the home, you should also prepare for winter’s arrival. Winter is a time to have all heating units serviced and ensure that the venting systems are functioning properly.
Check and make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly functioning.
It is a known fact that winter dangers such as broken bones from falls on icy steps, sidewalks or streets are independence robbing. Falls in the elderly can change your loved ones life. Cold weather also can cause an important, less obvious danger that can affect older people. Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia, which can be deadly if not treated quickly.
Here is a free home safety checklist full of home safety tips for seniors. Prevent hypothermia and prepare for heavy snow that can immobilize a region, because of downed power lines and blocked roads.
Caregivers when working with the elderly it is important that they are aware of what winter storm watches and warnings mean.
Provide your loved ones with these home safety tips for seniors:
- A winter storm WATCH means a winter storm is possible in your area.
- A winter storm WARNING means a winter storm is headed for your area.
- A blizzard WARNING means strong winds, blinding wind-driven snow and dangerous wind chill are expected. Seek shelter immediately! When a Winter Storm Watch is issued . . .
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, and TV stations, or cable TV such as The Weather Channel for further updates.
- Be alert to changing weather conditions.
- Avoid unnecessary travel. When a Winter Storm Warning is issued . . .
- Stay indoors during the storm.
- If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
- Understand the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin.
- As winds increase, heat is carried away from a person’s body at an accelerated rated, driving down the body temperature.
- Walk carefully on snowy, icy, sidewalks.
- After the storm, if you shovel snow, be extremely careful. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion.
Caregivers it is important that you and your aging loved one be aware the signs and symptoms of hypothermia:
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
If a person’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Part of elderly home health care is helping you loved one be prepared for any emergency.