AP NEWS

TONI KING: Do you have a hurricane evacuation plan?

July 5, 2017 GMT

Dear Toni,

We are new to the Houston area and last week Tropical Storm Cindy absolutely stressed my wife because her 84-year-old mother is living in an assisted living facility and we live over 10 miles away from her.

What can we do to be prepared for a hurricane or an emergency for the elderly should happen in this area?

We are concerned the assistant living facility does not have an evacuation plan and I cannot find one online. Thanks, James from the Pearland area.

Hi James,

Hurricane season officially started on June 1 and will not end until Nov. 30. The deeper the season goes, it seems the storms seem to get stronger.

Everyone should have a family disaster readiness plan for hurricanes and/or all types of disasters. For seniors or those that are disabled, this is especially crucial for their survival because many are energy or technologically dependent for life support or ongoing medical treatment.

I’m sure, James that you or your wife have probably not registered her mother with the State 2-1-1 or Houston/Harris County 3-1-1, Special Needs Registry. Registering will help in identifying individuals that require evacuation assistance, shelter placement, and/or other special needs.

Dial 211, today to prepare for a disaster tomorrow! It is just that easy!

Here are a few questions, to help you prepare for nearly any disaster or hurricane.

Do I stay or go? This will depend on where you live either in the city or in the country. When living in the city, remember the fiasco with Hurricane Rita it took 36-48 hours of waiting on the highway because of the massive traffic jam. Better to leave early than too late.

Make sure you have a sufficient supply of prescriptions and always bring your list of current prescriptions for yourself or any family member.

Have a copy of medical records for those with critical medical conditions such as your mother-in-law’s. Keep the medical records in a safe place that you can get to immediately when evacuating.

Advise your family members where the information is located.

Have a backup plan in case you are not in town for the emergency.

Do I have access to clean water? If you do not have access to clean water, then any crisis becomes very critical in a couple of days. Remember, you may not have access to a grocery store due to the type of disaster you are in.

Do I have adequate food supply? Most households have a few days of food already available, but the best way to stock up on additional food and supplies is to add a little bit each week. Remember, during a crisis the power may be out, so cook your frozen and refrigerated food first.

Do I have enough cash on hand in case the ATMs are not working? Remember to take your check book. ATMs may not be operating. Make sure you have your driver’s license or ID to cash a check.

Does my family know where to meet? It is important that all family members and loved ones know where to meet in a disaster. My family’s initial meeting place if we happen to be separated is Whataburger in Sealy on Interstate 10 and Texas 36.

James, Tropical Storm Allison devastated the Houston area in June of 2001 and now Houstonians do not take a storm for granted. I remember seeing on the news 18-wheelers floating down I-10 because the water was so high.

Toni King, author of the Medicare Survival Guide is on sale at www.tonisays.com. Email Toni at info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-TONI (8664).