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Disaster Preparedness
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Be prepared for severe weather and hurricane season in South Carolina!

Do you have a plan ready in event of weather-related emergencies?  The Alzheimer's Association is here to help caregivers take measures to prepare for and cope with these extraordinary circumstances.

Call us 24/7 at 1.800.272.3900

Alzheimer's Association Helpline staff can provide counseling and support to help families plan for emergencies.

Learn more about disaster preparedness for caregivers to help you keep you and your loved one safe during an emergency. 
Download these tips in
PDF version.


Plan ahead:

Prepare an Emergency Kit. Be sure to pack these items in a waterproof container or bag:

  • Copies of important documents, such as legal papers, a list of medications and dosages, and insurance information
  • Several sets of extra clothing
  • Extra medication
  • Incontinence products
  • Identification items, such as a MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® ID bracelet and clothing labels
  • A recent picture of the person with dementia
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Favorite items or foods
  • Extra batteries for hearing aids, extra eyeglasses, etc

Enroll your loved one in MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return®. This is a 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementia that wander or who have a medical emergency.

Make a plan and discuss it with your family. We suggest downloading The Calm Before the Storm: Family Conversations about Disaster Planning, Caregiving, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, a comprehensive natural disaster planning guide specifically created for caregivers, families and friends of those with memory disorders.  This publication is produced by the MIT AgeLab and the Advance 50 Team of gerontologists at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.  It offers new research and life-saving tips to help caregivers, family and friends of those with Alzheimer’s disease who live at home prepare for a natural disaster and get their lives back on track in the aftermath.


Tune in to stay up-to-date

The following radio stations are key participants in the Emergency Alert System and the South Carolina Educational Radio Network. They broadcast emergency information throughout the state, as do numerous other radio and television stations. News media will often be your first and best source of information on evacuations, shelter openings, and other important information. 
Tip - consider taking screenshots so you can access this information if you lose power.


Finding shelter

Before heading to a public shelter, first consider staying with family and friends or in a hotel out of the evacuated area. If those options are unavailable, the American Red Cross will provide a safe place to stay when you have no other place to go.

News media will often be your first and best source of information on evacuations, shelter openings, and other important information. During an evacuation, pay attention to emergency alerts via media and road signs for information about the nearest open shelter in case you need it.

Cots and blankets will only be provided in the public shelter after hurricane conditions subside. Although food may be provided, specialty items for infants and individuals on restricted diets may not be available. If you plan to evacuate to a shelter, you will want to carry the supplies listed in your Emergency Kit, PLUS blankets, sleeping bags, pillows and cots and special foods, if you are on a restricted diet.

When appropriate, share your loved one's diagnosis with others, such as hotel or shelter staff, so they can better assist. Try to stay together or with a group; it only takes a moment to get lost. Do not leave the person with dementia alone.


South Carolina Local Resources:

Alzheimer's Association - South Carolina Chapter:

South Carolina Emergency Management Division:
Includes the SC Hurricane Guide, evacuation routes, shelters, current road conditions and more.
Web site: http://www.scemd.org

County Emergency Management Divisions:
Includes phone numbers for each county.
Web site: http://www.scemd.org/who-we-are/county-agencies


Relief Agencies 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Web site: http://www.fema.org/

American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

Local Red Cross Chapters:
Lowcountry SC | North Charleston, SC | (843) 764-2323
Central SC | Columbia, SC | 803-540-1200
Northern SC | Rock Hill, SC | 803-329-6575
Eastern SC | Myrtle Beach, SC | 843-477-0020
Upstate SC | Greenville, SC | 864-271-8222



Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.