Guest Blogger: Daniel Hunt, Mobility Manager - TARTA
Daniel Hunt has over 30 years of business experience, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Associate degrees in Health Facility Administration and Marketing. Currently Daniel is the Mobility Manager at Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA), his past business experience includes being owner and operator of Hunt Industry Services, a non-emergency medical transportation business, and Kidz Cab, a specialized children’s transportation company. Prior to that Daniel was the Healthcare Administrator of an intermediate care facility. Daniel’s community work includes participation on the Board of Directors for several different organizations, such as the Toledo Lucas County Commission on Disabilities, Ohio Living Swan Creek and the Northwest Ohio Gerontological Association. He currently participates on advisory committees for the Area Office on Aging of Northwest Ohio, as well as volunteers his time with such organizations as Kidney Foundation, Community Advocates for Transportation Rights, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), and Easter Seals.
Emergency Preparation Resources for Seniors
Emergency preparedness can mean the difference between life and death – especially when a vulnerable senior citizen is involved. Your level of preparation, and the resources you have at your disposal can make evacuation and survival much easier. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help the elderly evacuate and prepare for even the worst Ohio natural disasters. If you’re in a position that involves care-taking for an elderly loved one, or group of seniors, use the following tools to help you find relief during an emergency.
How to Find Help in an Emergency
Knowing where the closest emergency shelter is to your home or nursing facility is critical. Unfortunately, safe shelter isn’t always announced until after a crisis. Here are some websites to find crucial information on where to evacuate your elderly loved one before a disaster. Visit the county’s Emergency Shelters information page to locate the shelter nearest to you.
- https://www.ready.gov. FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has alerts that range from active shooter threats to floods and fires. Signing up for their alert system means you and your loved one would know what’s happening as soon as there’s a safety threat.
- http://www.lucascountyalerts.com. Sign up for alerts specific to Lucas County residents. You can also be alerted to road closures and city hall meetings.
- http://ready.ohio.gov. Similar to FEMA’s national website, the state emergency site, Ready, Ohio, helps residents build a state-specific kit.
- http://woodcountyema.org. For Wood County residents, the Board of Commissioners runs this site to keep locals aware of any impending emergencies.
- http://www.lucascountyhealth.com/community-health/emergency-preparedness. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department offers a wealth of information. It will send you to other sites to sign up for emergency services for the area.
Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) offers a low-cost public transportation program that can be of use in a natural disaster emergency. TARTA Call-A-Ride provides fast and reliable curb-to-curb service in several local cities, available for just 60 cents for seniors and Medicare card holders. Fare is $1.25 for everyone else. TARTA will come pick senior citizens up on-demand, by calling 419-243-RIDE 419-243-7433. This program offers curbside service in Ottawa Hills, Maumee, Rossford, Sylvania, and Waterville.
Call TARTA to pick up senior citizens and transport them quickly to your local storm shelter or other safe location. It’s like giving seniors their “own personal bus” for low-cost transportation in times of emergency. As long as roads are clear and the buses can safely operate, you can pick up the phone and request a curb-to-curb ride to your desired destination within the Call-A-Ride service area. Different Call-A-Ride services have different schedules, so be sure to check the website before making your phone call. Holiday Call-a-Ride service is available in Rossford from 7:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
American Red Cross “Be Red Cross Ready” Program
Wondering what to include in your elderly loved one’s emergency preparedness kit? The American Red Cross has you covered. Through Be Red Cross Ready Ohio, the Red Cross provides a complete list of the basic supplies an emergency kit should contain. It recommends putting the items in an easy-to-carry kit in case you need to take it on-the-go while evacuating. The Red Cross recommends including at least the following items:
- One gallon of water per person, per day
- Non-perishable food
- First-aid kit
- Medical equipment
- Sanitation items
- Cell phone and chargers
- Emergency blankets
- Personal documents and information
There are many additional items on the list, as well as optional supplies depending on the disasters common in your area. The Red Cross’s website has quick links you can select to explore information about different Ohio natural disasters, including home fires, floods, lightning, tornadoes, winter storms, earthquakes, power outages, and terrorism. Select the natural disaster you’re concerned about and read the health and safety information Red Cross provides. The more prepared you are for taking care of the elderly in a natural disaster, the better.