By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. - Benjamin Franklin

February 2020, Volume 38

Let's Be Prepared

There are many emergencies and disasters that can affect an individual, family or a community at large. Just watching the news about wildfires, flooding, or a powerful storm knocking out power for days can generate anxiety or fear. Being prepared and informed and having a plan can help decrease that anxiety and fear if an emergency or disaster does strike. The plan will allow you to stay focused and calm, and help save time, money, and lives. You cannot predict what will happen and a major disaster may never happen to you, but if it does happen, you will have the ability to respond with the knowledge and resources to appropriately handle the situation.

All plans will need to be tailored to individuals and household needs. When preparing a kit, be prepared for a week or a minimum of three days. Some basic factors may include, but are not limited to:
  • Dietary needs - feeding formulas for individuals with feeding tubes
  • Medical needs that include medication (over-the-counter and a week's worth of prescription) and equipment
  • Food and water- consider water purification tablets and filter straws
  • Clothing, bedding, and sanitation supplies (seasonal).
  • Special items or needs per individual (eye glasses, hearing aids and batteries, walkers, oxygen, wheelchair, etc.)
  • A communication plan, and a contact list of people - ideally kept in a watertight container.
  • Gasoline - two five-gallon cans. Gas stations cannot pump gas when the power is out. Your emergency supply should only be used for emergency transportation or staff and/or clients to evacuate or go to the hospital. Or, use an outside gasoline electric generator to run only essential appliances - cell phone chargers, furnace, refrigerator, oxygen concentrators, suction machines.
Some basic items to include in a kit may include, but are not limited to:
  • 3 to 7 day supply of water and non-perishable food. Canned goods and dehydrated products last longer than frozen or fresh.
  • Paper products, paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and handi-wipes
  • Flashlight, radio, and extra batteries - hand-cranked power radios are valuable in an emergency.
  • Extra battery for cell phone and chargers - consider solar-powered flashlights, chargers, and converters.
  • Cash and coins
  • Identification cards and personal information (social security card and/or birth certificate)
  • Medical insurance cards
  • First aid kit
  • Backpacks and duffel bags
  • If you have pets, include pet food, water, blanket, leash or carrier
Keep your kit in water proof and airtight plastic bags.

For senior citizens, or individuals with special needs, extra factors and planning steps may need to be considered.
  • Inform emergency first responders about a person with special needs or a senior citizen. Many local police departments keep a list of such people. Call your local police department.
  • Encourage the person to wear medical alert tags or ID.
  • Make sure each person with communication needs has emergency information that notes the best way to communicate with him or her.
  • Include specialized support and comfort items. These may include an extra cushion to sit on, hand-held devices for movies, music, and games, playing cards, headphones to distract and comfort snacks. Know the needs of an individual to help with over-stimulation and sensory needs.
Resources and References

There are many wonderful resources available that offer templates for emergency plans and kits.

Ohio  Department of Health -
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -
American Red Cross -
Ready Marine Corps -
Official web site of the Department of Homeland Security - Plan Ahead for disasters (Special sections for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities)


February 2020 Activities and Tips

Valentine's Day Fruit Kabobs

Items Needed to make Kabobs
  • 10-inch bamboo skewers
  • Assorted, prepared fresh fruit (kiwi, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, etc)
  • paper hearts or heart stickers
Assembly Instructions
  1. Thread fresh fruit onto skewers, leaving about one inch empty on the top and bottom.
  2. Tape paper hearts or stickers onto the ends of the skewers.
  3. Serve with Cupid's Fruit Dip

Cupid's Fruit Dip
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces red gelatin powder (I used half of a 3-ounce Jello box.)
Whip cream cheese, marshmallow cream, and gelatin powder with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Chill until served with kabobs.


The Finer Things in Life


Reference: The Word Search - Word Search Maker

If you're new to Aging Gracefully, past issues can be found at the Lucas County Board of DD's web site,, under Publications.
Copyright © February 2020 Aging Gracefully, Volume 38, All rights reserved.

Aging Gracefully is published and edited by the Lucas County  Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Contributions come from:
Triad Residential Solutions
Unique Healthcare Solutions
Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Contact us at:
419-380-4000 or
1154 Larc Lane
Toledo, Ohio 43614

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