Keeping elderly, disabled people safe during severe weather - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Keeping elderly, disabled people safe during severe weather


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KITV) -- Flash flooding often follows heavy thunderstorms. Those are just two of the risks as we enter severe weather season here in Siouxland. And, it's essential to be prepared.

You've probably heard us tell you during a tornado warning to head to your basement, or another safe place. But, what if getting to that safe place isn't possible? That can sometimes be the case with elderly, or folks with disabilities.

"That mad scramble to the basement isn't always possible for someone who is in a wheelchair," said Three Rivers Independent Living director Doug Moravek.

That's why it's important to think ahead and have a plan in place. Three Rivers Independent Living in Sioux City offers help developing those plans.

"Someone with a visual impairment, someone who is in a wheel chair, someone who is hearing impaired. Those are all very different disabilities and would require different types of plans and what we encourage people to do in making that plan is you need to think through your individual circumstance," said Moravek.

"Like a person like me, in a wheel chair, I would need to take my battery charger. It's something that you have to have and it's a matter of if you have that stuff together, when it happens you're a little more prepared," said Jeannie Theis, Independent Living Counselor.

Elderly people can also be a concern during severe weather events, safety comes down to being aware and having a plan, something family members can help out with.

"They should make sure that they're aware of the changing conditions. So if you know your elderly parent doesn't stay tuned into the TV or radio, give them that call in the middle of the night to let them know," said Chris Kuchta of Siouxland Aging.

Another part of the family that may need some extra help during severe weather is pets. The Red Cross says you should make sure to include your pets in your severe weather plans.

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