In a hurricane, evacuations, power outages, and other storm-related hardships present challenges, especially to the elderly and those with disabilities. More than one-sixth of Florida’s population is at least 65 years old with a disability rate of three times that of the rest of the population, according to the 2000 US Census. Anyone with a temporary or permanent condition that impairs mobility, strength, judgment or other critical functions should have hurricane plans. Preparation involves: assessing the situation, seeking help, arranging to weather the storm at home, and creating an evacuation plan. University of Florida Professor Caroline Wilken says there are many things to consider.
“They need to remember to have extra batteries for hearing aids or for wheelchairs; they need to be sure that their medication is in order and that they have it where they can get to it and keep track of it, and they need to be sure that they have their medical information very handy; that people can get that information in case they’re not able to speak for themselves; they need extra eyeglasses; if they use oxygen to be sure they can handle the oxygen situation.”
Friday, 26 August 2005 01:00