Caregiver in Chapel Hill NCCaregiver-in-Chapel-Hill-NC

September is National Preparedness Month. This is the ideal opportunity for you as a caregiver to ensure that your aging parent has the proper preparations in place to help them through potentially dangerous situations such as weather emergencies and other disasters. One of the most common issues that occur during natural disasters and other emergencies is power outages. The electricity going out for an extended period of a few days can be frustrating for anyone, but for an elderly adult it can pose serious dangers. It is important to give your elderly parents the information and guidance that they need to stay safe during these outages so that even if you are not able to be with them, you can feel more confident that they will get through the emergency as safely and healthily as possible.


Use these tips to help keep your parent safe and healthy during a power outage:

  • Have an emergency kit in place. Make sure that your elderly parent has a well-stocked emergency kit easily accessible so that they can use it in the event of a prolonged power outage. This kit should include non-perishable food items that do not require heat to prepare, potable water, a first aid kit, and any medications that your loved one may need, as well as comfort items such as hygiene and toiletry supplies.
  • Prepare with coolers. Invest in several coolers so that your parent can preserve chilled foods as well as keep any medications that need to be refrigerated cool. Keep several cold packs in the freezer so that they can be transferred into the coolers during emergencies. If there is an impending storm that will likely cause a power outage, consider purchasing several bags of ice to put in the coolers so that they are ready.
  • Choose flashlights. Discourage your aging parent from using candles during a power outage. Though these can provide some light, they also create a serious fire hazard. Instead, make sure that there are flashlights or battery-operated lanterns readily available in each room of the home. Look for flashlights that plug into the wall. These light up as soon as the power goes out, making them easy to find.
  • Unplug appliances. If there is an impending storm or other event that is likely to cause a power outage, encourage your parent to unplug major appliances and electronics. This helps to prevent dangerous surges when the power comes back on.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide. Do not use any form of cooking, lighting, or heating equipment that uses natural gas, propane, or charcoal inside the home. This is not only a fire hazard, put could put your parent at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as well.
  • Do not touch water. If there is standing water around the home, such as caused by flooding, discourage your parent from touching the water during or after a power outage. Even if the power in your parent’s home is out, there could be live wires near or even in the water, creating an electrocution danger.


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Chapel Hill, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622