Now that winter is here, have a plan to be winter ready, check o - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Now that winter is here, have a plan to be winter ready, check on loved ones

Older adults are at increased risk from extreme conditions. (Source: Ohio Department of Aging) Older adults are at increased risk from extreme conditions. (Source: Ohio Department of Aging)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Winter has made a come back. And has brought with it the potential for significant snow accumulations, high winds and power outages. The Ohio Department of Aging wants to remind you that older adults are at increased risk from illness and injury during extreme conditions. If you or an older loved one lives in a region expected to be impacted by a winter storm, take steps to be prepared:

  • Have an emergency kit that contains, at a minimum, a battery operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, a loud whistle or bell, food you can open and prepare easily, water, extra blankets and a first aid kit.
  • Keep a backup supply of the medications you take every day. Have an ice chest on hand and keep ice packs in the freezer for medications that need to be kept cool.
  • Make sure your medical equipment and assistive devices (such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, lifts, oxygen tanks, etc.) are easy to locate in an emergency. Have spare batteries and non-powered options for equipment that will not work without electricity.
  • Designate a safe place to go if it becomes unsafe to stay in your home, such as a friend's or neighbor's house or shelter. Have a plan for getting there.
  • Be prepared to quickly explain to rescue personnel in an emergency how to help you move safely and quickly (e.g., "take my oxygen tank," "get my insulin from the refrigerator").

Before, during and after the storm, check on older loved ones and neighbors to ensure that they are OK and have the resources they need to stay safe and healthy:

  • Are they in good health and do they have the medicine and supplies they need to stay that way.
  • Do they need assistance getting around their home?
  • Do they have access to clean drinking water and a way to safely store and prepare food?
  • Is the temperature in their home in a comfortable and safe range for them?
  • Do they have a reliable way to call for help, and do they know who they will call?

If you or your loved one are ill or injured, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Ohio's area agencies on aging make sure that each community has a plan for assisting older adults during severe weather or other emergencies. Call 1-866-243-5678 to be connected to the agency serving your community.

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