Hurricane Preparedness: Comforting Children And The Elderly
Once you have created your emergency plan and prepared your emergency kit, you may have to help others who require assistance or support during a disaster. Here are some tips for comforting children and the elderly in the wake of an emergency.
- Have a plan. Children will feel prepared and relieved if they feel the adults in their lives have taken reasonable precautions to protect them from harm.
- Parents should manage their own anxiety. If the adults are anxious the children will be also. Calm, supportive reactions from parents in anticipation of evacuations/crises will go along way to alleviate stress responses in children.
- Monitor media exposure. Parents need information, but 24/7 television news exposure is going overboard, and can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking especially for young children.
Comforting the Elderly
- Provide strong and persistent verbal reassurance
- Accompany or arrange for companions
- Give special attention to suitable relocation, ideally in familiar surroundings with friends and family
- Help re-establish medication regimens. Many older persons may rely on drugs to keep emotional balance or treat chronic illnesses. Helpers should recognize the need for obtaining early information on.
Recognize medical concerns:
- Arthritis may prevent an elder from standing in line.
- Medications can cause confusion or a greater susceptibility to problems such as dehydration.
- Memory disorders can cause communication problems
- Extremes of heat or cold have marked effects upon older persons
Visit the Get A Game Plan website for more information on hurricane preparedness.