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How Can YOU Prepare for an Emergency?

How you can prepare for an emergency

emergencies you could face, how you can handle them

Published: August 10, 2021

Category: Educational

The question of what will happen in the event of an emergency is a passing thought that a lot of people have, but it bears asking on a regular basis. If there is a crisis, what can you expect? What are you going to do? Are you prepared at all? Looking at this question from an objective point of view will make it easier to answer.


And, luckily for you, The Best Senior Services is also here to help you figure out what you can do if there’s an emergency.


This article will discuss the type of emergencies you could face, how you can handle them and the importance of recognizing a crisis. Let’s jump right in and define what kind of emergencies we will be discussing.


What classifies as an emergency?

There are a lot of things that can be classified as an emergency. In fact, too many things to compile into one list. That’s why we are only going to be focusing on a few of the basics. Luckily, these are all instances you can prepare for.

  • Natural disasters
  • Medical emergencies
  • House fires


Natural disasters

What classifies as natural disasters are: fires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms, typhoons, tornadoes, extreme cold freezes/heat waves and more. Unfortunately, these aren’t necessarily preventable. Sometimes, they aren’t even predictable. But most of the time, they are. If you are thinking about moving to a new state during retirement, you may want to consider researching areas where natural disasters are considered low.


For example, the Louisiana coastline is susceptible to hurricanes because it has an elevation that is almost equal to sea level. California experiences a lot of earthquakes because it lies on the San Andreas fault line. California also experiences a high number of wildfires because of its hot weather being paired with its dry climate.


If you live somewhere where natural disasters may be common, you can protect yourself by:


  • Having a physical copy of all evacuation routes on hand. There are multiple reasons why this is important. First, only memorizing evacuation routes may not be as effective as you think. You will likely be experiencing a lot of fear and, as a result, you won’t be thinking as clearly as you usually do. This means you could experience trouble remembering all of the exits from the city in which you live.


Second, you will also want to make sure that the copies you do have are on paper, and not electronics. This is because you may be experiencing power outages in your home. That means if you keep the listed routes on your computer, you won’t be able to pull them up. If you’re thinking that you can just refer to your phone, you may be right, but with a power outage comes a loss of internet and the inability to charge your phone. You will not want to have to look at your phone if you don’t have to because it will drain your battery.


You can access evacuation routes by contacting your local officials. They will be able to provide you the ways in which you can leave your city.

  • Have an emergency plan and kit. If you live with your family, you will want to get together to discuss how you can collectively escape an emergency. Assign each family member a role: one person will contact help (if possible), one person will retrieve the emergency kit (which will hold important documents, identifications, emergency money, medications, etc.), one person will be responsible for gathering food and water, and more. Assigning roles, if at all doable, will help keep tan organized flow when disaster strikes.


If you need assistance in creating a family plan, you can contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at its toll-free number, 1-800-621-3362 or visit its website. You can also contact your local government to get a more specific plan based on where you are located.

  • Have a portable radio. In the event that power is lost, a portable radio will help you stay up to date on what is happening in your area, and how you can stay safe.
  • Keep your gas tank as full as possible. If you are in a position where you are able to leave your home in favor of a shelter, or you’re able to safely leave your city altogether, the odds are high that other people have the same idea. This means that gas stations will be filled with people trying to get last-minute gas.


If you have the availability, keep gasoline containers in your garage that can be readily accessed to fill your car. These can be accessed at your local Walmart or Lowe’s Home Improvement.


Medical emergencies

There are all sorts of medical emergencies that can happen. A few common examples are difficulty breathing, heart attacks, strokes, fainting, broken bones, poisoning, and excessive bleeding. Unfortunately, medical emergencies happen suddenly and without much of a warning. However, if you have a history of medical issues, you can prepare yourself for the possible next one.


You can prepare by:

  • Knowing the quickest route to an emergency room and/or hospital. Knowing this will help you avoid taking unnecessary longer routes.

Google Maps and Waze are great apps to help you determine what the quickest route to your local hospital or emergency room.

  • Have emergency phone numbers on stand-by. These are the most important numbers to have a copy of. These will include your local police and fire department, the ambulance center, your hospital, your doctor, and poison control. Keep a copy of these posted on your refrigerator so that you are regularly reminded of where they are. It is also useful to have all of these phone numbers saved on your phone, so that they are one quick phone call away.
  • Wear your medical identification tag (if applicable): This is especially important if you have chronic illnesses. This will assist personnel by letting him or her know what you are experiencing. He or she will then be able to properly give you what you need.
  • Have an emergency supply kit. Things you may want to consider having inside of your kit would be eyewash solution, instant ice/heat packs, tongue depressors, applicators, thermometer, and pain relievers. Your emergency supply kit should also include supplies that are specific to your needs, whether it be an asthma inhaler or an EpiPen. If your kit is going to include an EpiPen, make sure there are instructions alongside it so that if someone is having to administer it to you, he or she will know how to effectively use it.


House fires

These can be one of the scariest things you can experience. Not only has your safety hub become dangerous, but your personal belongings are also at risk of being destroyed. And the older your home is, the more likely it is to be caught on fire. These are fearful realizations to have, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, on the bright side, there are measures that you can take to ensure a house fire prevention.


You can prevent house fires by:


  • Regularly checking your smoke detectors. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), you need to inspect your smoke detectors at least once per month, and you need to change your batteries once or twice per year. This is one of the most important things you can do because your smoke detector will be your first official notification that there is a fire starting within your home.


Once every 10 years, you will want to replace your smoke detector.

  • Keeping an eye on your appliances. Appliances like your stove, microwave or washing machine set can pose as a significant fire hazard. Sometimes, all it takes is one cycle in the washing machine, or one pot on the stove, to set something off.


An all-too-common fire that starts from your appliances is the grease fire. These are specific fires that should not be put out with water. In fact, water will only make it worse. To put out a grease fire, you should turn off your heat source and cover the fire with a metal lid. You will then want to pour baking soda on the fire. If these do not help it get lower, you will want to have a fire extinguisher nearby to suffocate any growing flames. If all above fail, call 911 and leave your property immediately.

  • Being careful with candles. Candles are a quick way to start an accidental fire, whether you drop one or forget to blow it out. If a candle is lit, you should always make sure that it is in your vicinity. Never leave the house, or go to a completely separate area of your house, with the candle still lit. The wax is combustible, and it can result in a devastating house fire.
  • Practicing safety protocols. You remember stop, drop and roll, right? Good! It still applies today. If in any instance you are hit by flames and your clothes catch fire, you will want to stop what you are doing, drop to the floor and roll. Other safety protocols include how to use a fire extinguisher. An easy way to remember this is through the acronym PASS. This stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.


Why is it important to recognize an emergency?

Each emergency will be different. So, no matter how many crises you have lived through, no two crises have been the exact same. That’s why it’s important to always know what to do in the event one happens. Treat each emergency like it’s your first, meaning that you should not know exactly what to expect.


Additionally, it’s important to recognize an emergency because it could be the matter of life or death. Acknowledging this helps you and others in the event of a disaster, fire or medical emergency.


Other things to keep in mind

There is a lot of planning that goes into preparing for an emergency and it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where exactly to start. This is where The Best Senior Services can help. If you need more information on how to begin planning on an emergency that you believe could happen to you, call us today at 855.979.8277, where we will have a local licensed agent waiting to speak to you on the other end.


As scary as emergencies are, it doesn’t mean you can ignore them in hopes that you won’t be hit with one. You should always be prepared. You’ll thank yourself later!