Ready, Set, Summer: Disaster Preparedness

Red Cross volunteer helping a young boy

July is Disaster Preparedness Month! Red Cross Disaster Health Services Manager Mary Casey-Lockyer is the expert in being ready for anything. Read on for her suggestions about what to keep in mind during summer’s severe weather season, especially if someone in your home is suffering from a health condition that limits their mobility.

Summertime is a season of picnics and playtime—but it also can bring unexpected severe weather and evacuations. If someone in your family has a chronic condition that depends on electricity, or if there’s been a recent injury such as a broken leg, it could and should change your emergency plan. Mary’s suggests the following:

• If the power goes out, that means oxygen or other medical devices might become unavailable. Consider having a generator on hand, or know if your local community center or library will have a generator available in an emergency.

• Be sure to keep a first-aid kit handy, but also consider keeping prescription medications in an easy-to-transport container in case you need to run to the basement in case of a tornado warning—or away from home altogether in case of a hurricane or wildfire.

• Check out your shelter options before you need them. The Red Cross National Shelter System (NSS) offers information for over 56,000 potential shelter facilities, and is updated regularly so you know which shelters to get to during disaster.

• Download a Red Cross app or two – they include valuable first aid information for any day (including first aid for pets!), as well as disaster-specific resources.

Ever had a brush with severe weather? If so, would you do something differently to prepare in the future? Share your thoughts below.

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