From devastating tornadoes to extreme floods, the past few weeks have seen the country besieged by various types of severe weather. According to severe weather experts at The Weather Channel, the number of confirmed tornadoes this month, at 292, is almost double the usual number of 163 for the month of April. Forecasts indicate that the coming days will bring more of these same types of violent weather outbursts.

Weather patterns like the one we are currently facing highlight the need for caregivers to have an Emergency Preparedness Plan in place to ensure the safety and well-being of their loved ones. No state is safe from the threat of a tornado, and a few simple, precautionary steps could mean the difference between survival and death, especially for an elder.

With that in mind, here are three essential tips for preparing an elder for a disaster:

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  1. Find a safe place to take shelter-According to the CDC, the best place to take shelter in your home in the event of a tornado is a basement, or the lowest level of the structure you are in. Go to a windowless, interior room and take cover underneath a table of something else that will help protect you from blowing debris.
  2. Make an emergency kit-make sure everyone knows the location of the kit. Include things like; a three-day supply of food and water, first aid kit, extra clothing, flashlight and extra batteries, extra set of house and car keys, prescription medications, cash, and a portable radio or television.
  3. Consider an elder's special needs-elders may need specific items such as a cane or a hearing aid to assist them. Make sure that, if an elder is being cared for by a home healthcare agency, that agency has an emergency response plan.

For more information on emergency preparedness:

12 Tips to Prepare the Elderly for Disasters