Tips for the elderly

Updated: Friday, May 13, 2016
By: www.prod.cmgdefault.com

Storms can be especially distressing for seniors. In addition to the preparation described elsewhere on this Web site, here are some important tips for seniors.

If you are a senior

 

  • You cannot count on help immediately following a storm. Make preparations now. If you have no one to assist you, local agencies such as the Red Cross can help. Call them now, not when a storm is threatening.
  • Make sure loved ones, especially if they’re long distance, know where you plan to be and how to reach you.
  • If possible, find relatives or friends who can take you in an emergency.
  • If you need to wait out the storm in a special needs shelter, make arrangements now.
  • If you’re single, find another single or singles and make plans to “buddy up.” Identify someone now who you will check on and who will check on you before and after the storm. If you live on a low floor of a high rise, suggest a neighbor who lives above the second floor, or anyone who has difficulty walking, to stay with you during the storm.
  • If you live in a senior center, attend, or even organize, meetings to coordinate emergency plans.
  • If you have special dietary requirements (low sodium, diabetic, kosher), stock up now. Mass meals delivered after storms probably won’t meet your needs.
  • Make sure you have enough of your medications before storms threaten. Have ice for those medicines that need refrigeration.
  • Seniors are tempting targets for post-storm gougers and scammers. Be wary.
  • After the storm, don’t be afraid to apply for aid. You will NOT be forced from your residence, unless it’s unsafe.
  • After the storm, with power out and debris everywhere, your health and safety must be a top priority. Don’t push yourself or act carelessly. When in doubt, seek help.

 

If you have a relative or friend who’s a senior

 

  • Make sure he or she has a storm plan.
  • Many seniors don’t have transportation or are disabled and will have difficulty stocking up before a storm and getting critical items afterward. Make sure they have everything they need, or get it for them.
  • If your loved one is disabled or in an assisted living facility, make arrangements for where he or she will go in an emergency.

 

CARING FOR ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS
  • Dealing with an approaching storm is a special challenge for people with Alzheimer’s disease, or for those who care for them.
  • If you care for such a person, now is the time to create an action plan.
  • Besides all the other preparations all residents need to make, you also should talk to your patient’s physician about staying home during a storm.
  • Keep all medications in full supply and discuss ways of keeping them refrigerated if necessary.
  • Make sure to note any emergency phone numbers in case you need to reach your physician quickly.
  • Secure all car keys in a safe place so your loved one can’t get to them and leave the house alone.
  • Maintain as much of a routine as possible. Have a supply of books, magazines, newspapers, games and puzzles to keep your loved one engaged. Include a battery-operated CD player and a selection of  music.
  • Keep your loved one on a regular sleeping pattern.
  • Stay calm throughout the storm. An Alzheimer’s patient may take cues from your behavior.
  • If you plan to evacuate, know exactly where you are going. Call ahead to ensure a safe place to stay.
  • If possible, have a trusted friend or family member stay with you and your loved one. The extra help will allow you time to take care of your own needs.
  • If you do need to leave your home, always take your loved one with you, or have someone stay with him or her while you are gone. Never leave an Alzheimer’s patient unattended during a disaster.

Storm prep checklist for outside the home

Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2016
By: www.prod.cmgdefault.com


            Storm prep checklist for outside the home
Get Ahead of the Storm - 5 Severe Weather Hacks

WHEN THE STORM THREATENS:

Refill special medications.

Get cash (ATMs may not work for days after). Don’t charge credit cards to the limit; you might need extra cash after the storm.

Get supplies. Follow instructions in this guide for food and water.

Don’t fill gasoline cans until right before the storm; they are a fire hazard.

Fill vehicle fuel tank. Gas stations could run out and some will not have power to run pumps. Check your car’s battery, water, oil. Make sure you have a spare tire and buy aerosol kits that fix and inflate flats.

Check fire extinguishers.

If you own a boat, make necessary preparations.

Prepare your pool. Don’t drain it.

If you own a plane, have it flown out or secured.

WHEN THE STORM IS APPROACHING:

Get shutters, storm panels or plywood in place on windows. If you haven’t installed sockets, attach with wood screws; they’re better than nails and do less damage.

Don’t tape windows; tape can create daggers of glass and in the heat can later bake onto panes.

Remove swings and tarps from swing sets. Tie down anything you can’t bring in. Check for loose rain gutters, moldings.

Move grills, patio furniture and potted plants into your house or garage.

If you do any last-minute pruning, take clippings inside so they don’t become hazards in the wind.

Disconnect and remove satellite dish or antenna from your roof.

Check your mailbox. If it’s loose, secure or remove it.

Remove roof turbines and cap holes with screw-on caps. Unsecured turbines can fly off and create a large hole for rain to pour through.

Prepare patio screening. It usually is built to sustain tropical-force winds, but with higher winds, it can separate from the frame. Officials recommend you remove a 6-foot panel on each side to let wind pass through. Pull out the tubing that holds screening in frame to remove screen.

Secure and brace external doors, especially the garage door and double doors.

Move vehicles out of flood-prone areas and into garages if possible. If not, park cars away from trees and close to homes or buildings.

Don’t turn off your natural gas at the main meter. Only emergency or utility people should do that.

Shutters and window coverings

Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2016
By: www.prod.cmgdefault.com

Shutters and window coverings

Shutters require regular maintenance

Do a trial run now to make sure your shutter system is functioning properly.

If you have removable panels, get them out to see if any are missing or bent.

Make sure you have enough mounting fasteners. If not, hardware stores often carry extras. Make sure mounting tracks are clean and debris-free.

Apply some light machine oil to lubricate parts and deter rust.

Permanently applied shutter systems, such as roll-up, Bahama or accordion shutters should be serviced yearly (twice yearly, if you live on the beach) by a professional, especially if the system is motorized. If rollers are accessible, they can be sprayed with aerosol “white grease,” according to Bill Feeley, president of the International
Hurricane Protection Association. All motors should be professionally serviced.

Owners of newly built homes with shutter systems should make sure their builder demonstrates how to use the system and that all parts are provided before moving in. Missing or wrong-sized components are common, according to Feeley. “The homeowner assumes they fit and then when the storm is bearing down, they find out they don’t,” he said.

— Barbara Marshall

Contact numbers

International Hurricane Protection Association: (844)516-4472, www.inthpa.com

American Shutter Systems Association: 800-432-2204, www.amshutter.org

 

Least expensive option: Plywood

Shutter orders and backlogs rise near the height of storm season. So the time to choose your coverings, if you haven’t already, is now. The least expensive option is plywood.

Plywood does not meet Florida Building Code specifications unless it’s installed according to code.

To ensure code compliance, you’ll need a permit from your local building department.

However, if a storm is close and survival is the goal, follow instructions in the accompanying graphic for correct installation.

What’s the best roof?

Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2016
By: www.prod.cmgdefault.com

Age and improper installation caused most roof failures in the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes.

Which kinds survived?
  • Metal roofs had the fewest problems, followed by tiles applied with concrete or foam adhesive.
  • Nailed-on tiles didn’t fare as well.
  • Shingle roofs came off in the thousands.

    When was your roof installed? Roofs installed after the mid-1990s, when building codes began to change statewide after Hurricane Andrew, survived better than those installed earlier.

    Shingle roofs

    How old is your shingle roof? Shingles become brittle and lose adhesion in the Florida sun after about 12 years even if they were properly installed. Has your shingle roof been re-roofed on top of old shingles? If so, beware. Large segments of those newer layers flew off in the high winds.

    Tile roofs

    How was your roof tile applied? Tiles applied with only concrete or foam adhesive fared better than nailed-on or screwed-on tiles, which can begin leaking after seven to 10 years. As with shingles, age affects performance.

    Flat roofs

    How many layers or ‘plys’ make up your flat roof? A three- or four-ply interlining (under the roof coating) is generally better than two. Expect a multi-layered flat roof to last 15 to 18 years.

    Metal roofs

    Is your metal roof properly attached? Metal roofs are the most expensive but also proved to be the most hurricane-resistant.

    If the roofers used the correct attachment method, either screws or clips, the wind will have a difficult time getting underneath metal roof panels.

    Sealants

    Do roof sealants and coatings help protect roofs from high winds? “I don’t recommend them,” says Joe Byrne, a roofing industry consultant and owner of Byrne Roofing in West Palm Beach, who says sealants can make shingles more brittle, affecting adhesion.

    Where to verify a roofer’s valid license:
  • State licenses: www.myflorida.com
  • Palm Beach County: (561) 233-5525, www.pbcgov.com/pzb
  • Martin County: (772) 288-5482
  • St. Lucie County: (772) 462-1672 or (772) 462-1673
  • Okeechobee: (863) 763-5548
  • Price-gouging hot line: (866) 966-7226
  • Report unlicensed contractors at (866) 532-1440
    — Barbara Marshall
  • Interactive: Home inspection tips

    Updated: Sunday, May 10, 2015
    By: www.prod.cmgdefault.com