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Published on September 12, 2018

Hurricane Safety: Preparing Our Elderly Neighbors and Pets

Hurricane Safety: Preparing Our Elderly Neighbors and Pets

With Hurricane Florence approaching, it’s important to remember our pets and elderly neighbors as we prepare to stay safe during the storm. In addition to the items included in a basic emergency supply kit, the elderly and our pets have specific needs that require extra preparation. Here’s what to do to help them stay safe.

Elderly Family, Friends and Neighbors

Talk with your elderly neighbors before the hurricane arrives to set plans for what to do if the power goes out or if evacuation is necessary. Share sets of keys and be sure you have a reliable method of communication in the event of an emergency.

Make sure elderly neighbors pack basic emergency supply kits. In addition, the elderly should consider packing these special items:

  • Three days’ supply of electrolyte-infused water. Water with electrolytes can help the elderly stay hydrated.
  • Three days’ supply of diet-specific food. Pack foods safe for any medical conditions they may have, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, food allergies, etc. Focus on protein rich foods, starches, fruits and vegetables.
  • Seven days’ supply of medication with instructions. Keep in a labeled waterproof bag. Keep medicines that need refrigeration as cool as possible by storing them in the freezer if the power goes out or by using a cooler and ice packs.
  • Necessary medical equipment. Be sure to have a supply and equipment for seven days, including oxygen, blood glucose meter, test strips, catheters, etc.
  • Hearing aids, spare eyeglasses, etc. Include spare hearing aid batteries.
  • Batteries to power medical equipment.
  • Walkers, canes and wheelchairs. Put them in an easily accessible place and label them.
  • Important documents. Gather birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, insurance documents, etc., and store in a waterproof bag.


Packing an emergency kit for your pet’s specific needs is also important. At the first sign of bad weather, bring your pet indoors and do not leave them behind if evacuation is necessary. Pack these items in their emergency kit:

  • Three days’ worth of canned or dry food and water.
  • Leashes and collars with ID and immunization tags. Your pet’s ID tag should have their name, your name and your contact information.
  • Seven days’ supply of medications. Carry in a waterproof bag and label with your pet’s name, your name and contact information.
  • Pet first aid kit. Include bandages, pet-safe ointments, scissors, tape, gloves and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Cleaning supplies. Include disposable bags, paper towels, litter trays, litter and disinfectant.
  • Pet carrier. Label with your pet’s name, your name and your contact information.
  • Water and food bowls.
  • Your pet’s immunization records.
  • List of pet-friendly safe places. Shelters may not accept pets, so prepare a list of places you can take them, like a pet-friendly hotel, a friend or family member’s home, or an emergency shelter from a local animal shelter if offered.
  • Toys, blankets, etc. These items can help your pet feel safer.