Hurricane season starts June 1, and so I’ve been thinking about disaster preparedness. Specifically, how would I prepare my mom for a natural disaster if she couldn’t open bottled water or use a can opener?

Here are tips for preparing our loved ones for natural disasters.


  1. Put water into containers such as plastic pitchers
  2. Buy canned food in cans with pop-tops
  3. Refill prescription medications that will run out within the next seven days. Remember to buy over-the-counter medications, diapers, wet wipes, and other such necessities when stocking up.
  4. If your loved one uses a stationary oxygen concentrator, check with the supplier about portable concentrators, how much they cost, and how long their batteries last
  5. Find out if your loved one can be put on a priority list for power restoration if she requires medical equipment that runs on electricity
  6. Check on whether your loved one has fresh batteries in the right sizes for anything she might need that uses batteries
  7. Replace electric nightlights with battery-powered ones (for the duration of the emergency)
  8. Be sure flashlights are lightweight, produce bright light, and don’t require strength to turn on or off
  9. Finally, if your loved one is confused or forgetful, don’t take her word that she’s ready for a natural disaster. Go and see for yourself.