Natural disasters are, by definition, devastating. They cost lives, ruin communities, and cost large amounts of money. And for senior citizens, they can be particularly deadly. During and after a storm or other natural disaster event, many people understandably experience extreme amounts of stress and trauma. Research has shown that elevated states of both can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease risk, which will of course be more impactful for heart disease and stroke patients.
Seniors are a particularly vulnerable population as the aftermath of a disaster, namely evacuations, property destruction, and interruptions in supply chains, can make it difficult or impossible to see healthcare professionals and refill vital prescriptions.
Have a plan for what to do with your senior loved ones in the event of a natural disaster. Create a guide and share it with the family, including communication strategies and specific needs, ensuring everyone will know what to do. Pre-planning will alleviate some of the harmful stress and anxiety during and immediately after a disaster event.
Asking their primary care provider about an emergency supply of prescriptions is a good idea as well. Doctors and pharmacists can both advise on how to build an emergency supply of both prescription and over the counter drugs, including which ones are most important. Make sure to store all medications in their original containers, but contain them inside of a resealable waterproof plastic bag. This will ensure all medications can be transported together, and will be kept dry.
Finally, learning CPR can, when done correctly in situations where necessary, can double or triple the chance of survival. You can learn the basics online, but a CPR certification class is best.