You know all too well that prepping for yourself is a feat. But try to prep for survival with seniors in the family, and you’ll learn it’s a whole different story.
Every household member is obviously valuable, so you just have to use your knowledge and skills to your advantage and work within your old folks’ capabilities.
If you’re searching for sound advice, here are 6 practical ways to prep for survival with your senior family members:
Establish Strengths and Weaknesses
Not all seniors are frail and feeble. A big chunk of them are still alert and active.
When it comes to emergency preparedness for seniors, it’s crucial to assess what your loved ones can or can’t do before making a disaster plan. They may only need a little assistance, so give them a chance to help out.
You’re gonna need all hands on deck to prep for survival. You might as well take advantage of everyone in your household. Of course, don’t force the older folks to do any heavy lifting if it’s impossible for them to do so. They can help you grow a survival garden or preserve food instead.
Just don’t push ’em to their limits. Things as simple as walking might be hard for your loved ones, making it important to prep assistive devices like a cane, walker, or wheelchair.
Make sure you’re aware of their incapabilities so everyone can be better equipped when disaster comes. Your senior family members may not be as fast or strong as they used to be, so if you live in a flood-prone area, for example, you’ll need to help them evacuate to a safer place.
Stock Up On Medications and Medical Supplies
The elderly are particularly susceptible to injuries and diseases, so be practical when you plot out your SHTF game plan.
The first thing on your agenda should be to make a list of all the medications they’re on. Take note of the dosing instructions and keep a stash of meds for emergencies.
Next, add the medical supplies and equipment they might need to your checklist. These may include a blood pressure monitor, a wheelchair, or an oxygen tank.
Keep these in mind when you’re stocking up on medications and medical supplies:
- For easier access to everyone’s medical history, keep everything in an emergency binder. This folder is a collection of important information and documents readily available in case of disasters and emergencies. If you don’t wanna carry a bulky binder around, backup everyone’s information online or in a flash drive.
- Just to be sure, stockpile a month’s worth of critical medications in a daily pill organizer. This way, you’ll have enough extras on hand if an emergency lasts longer than expected.
- Be mindful of expiration dates. Rotate the meds regularly and store them in a cool, dry, and dark area to prolong shelf life. If you have unused or expired meds in your stockpile, dispose of them properly. The best way to safely put them away is through drug take-back locations. For other options, check out this article.
- For battery-operated medical equipment, it’s wise to keep spare batteries in case of a power outage or if they run out of juice.
- Since blackouts are likely to happen after a major disaster, you might want to invest in an emergency generator to ensure your nebulizer, ventilator, and other equipment will still be up and running.
Personalize Food Selection
If gram and gramps have dietary restrictions they need to watch out for, factor those in when building your survival pantry. Some seniors may also not have the ability to navigate their way around the pantry and kitchen safely, so it’s your job to help them with their meals when SHTF.
Before assembling your prepper pantry, take note of their food allergies and other important nutritional considerations.
If you’re new to this, these tips might help you get the work done:
- Consult with their doctors before making any meal plans to know the types of food they should be eating and the ingredients you need to prepare.
- Aside from stocking up on food that’s high in energy and nutritional value, don’t forget about food supplements, vitamins, and minerals.
- You’ll be doing a lot of manual labor when S hits the fan, so consider storing food that’s easy to prepare without sacrificing any dietary needs.
- It’s tough to prep for survival if you’re squirreling away food that’s impossible to source. Instead, go for grub you won’t have a problem finding at your local grocery, like rice, pasta, beans, and oats.
Be Ready to Bug In
When evacuating your home doesn’t sound like the best plan, bug in instead. You’re already stockpiling medical supplies and food, which means you’re halfway there.
Part of every bug in plan is ensuring your home has what it takes to hold down the fort until things get better. Some ways to do so are installing cheap security systems, building a safe room, and setting up booby traps.
Remember: you’re not just dealing with Mother Nature here. When things go south, people turn desperate, so you might have to face intruders or looters, too.
One last thing — don’t forget to stockpile survival gear essentials to be extra ready.
Boosting your home defense may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll thank yourself for it later.
Store Clean Water Before It’s Too Late
Clean drinking water should be a top priority when you prep for survival.
In an SHTF situation, there might not be a drop of water coming out of your faucet. And without water, you’re gonna deal with a whole other problem: dehydration. For those who are already fragile, this scenario could mean death.
When it comes to safe water storage, contamination is your biggest concern. But with careful planning and execution, your supply will last for a long time, and you’ll avoid water-borne infections at the same time.
If you have zero access to clean drinking water or run out of it, collect water from what’s available in your surroundings. Just don’t drink directly from the source without filtering or purifying it first.
Practice Situational Awareness
People often see old-timers as feeble, so they’re always targets for looting or mugging.
This way, you’ll know when a threat is present, and you can act accordingly. Keeping a few non-lethal self-defense weapons on your person might also prove helpful if an attacker gets violent.
These weapons will give you enough time to get out of a tricky situation without fatally injuring yourself or other people. You might also want to consider giving your older family members some prepper spray to defend themselves, too.
Emergency preparedness for seniors has its challenges, but all it takes is a well-thought-out plan. With proper planning, you’ll be assured that the older members of your household are safe and sound if a major disaster comes knocking at your door.
What have you been doing to prep for survival with your seniors? Let us know in the comments!