Due to the storm, Bristol Elder Services is operating on an essential functions only status on Tuesday, January 27th and Wednesday, January 28th. There will be no Home Delivered Meals on those days, and consumers should use their shelf stable meal packages. No congregate meal sites will be open. For non-emergency assistance and information, including shelter locations, call 2-1-1 or visit www.mass211.org
Preparing for Winter Storm Power Outages
Prepare an “emergency kit:”
- Flashlights, extra batteries, and a battery powered radio
- Sleeping bag and/or extra warm blankets
- Supply of non-perishable foods that require no refrigeration (canned foods, fruits and nuts)
- Manual can opener
- Drinking water (one gallon per person, per day)
- First aid kit, prescription medications, and special medical needs
- Personal hygiene supplies such as soap, toothpaste and disposal cleaning cloths
Winter storms can lead to power outages. If the power goes out wear several layers of clothing, including a hat, and move around a lot to raise your body temperature.
Throughout the storm, whether you are ordered to evacuate or remain in your home, remember to:
- Keep informed about the storm by radio or television.
- Prepare to evacuate to a shelter or a neighbor’s home if you lose heat or if advised by local authorities to do so.
- Learn about your community’s emergency plans, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.
- Fully charge your cell phone in advance of a power outage.Contact your local electric company if you have life-support devices that depend on electricity. Some utility companies will put you on a "priority reconnection service" list.
- Talk to your equipment suppliers about your power options and also let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices.
- Ensure that Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are working correctly and have fresh batteries. Check your outside fuel exhaust vents, making sure that they are not obstructed by snow or ice. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside use indoors as a heat source or cooking device.
- Let faucets drip a little to avoid pipes freezing.
- Avoid slipping on ice. Wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles and stay inside until roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to make walking easier. Take off shoes as soon as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles and, once melted, can lead to slippery conditions inside.
- Make plans to ensure the safety of pets.
What Can You Do to Prevent Falls?
Falls are the number one cause of injuries for older Americans and most bone fractures are caused by falls. Many falls can be prevented by making small daily changes. Try these tips after discussing with your doctor if they are appropriate for you.
Start Moving: Start a regular exercise program by finding one that focuses on balance, strength, and flexibility. Examples include Tai Chi, water aerobics, dancing, and light weight lifting.
Medications: If you have had a recent fall or have become dizzy at times, discuss with your doctor if a medication could be causing this. Bring a list of all the medications and vitamins you take to your next doctor visit.
Footwear: Slippers, sandals, and shoes with a heel may cause you to slip or fall. Wear shoes that provide support and fit properly.
Household Hazards: Look around your house to see if there are any items that could cause falls. Replace loose rugs and move tables in high traffic areas.
Let There be Light: Keep your home well lit to avoid tripping over items in the dark. Use nightlights or place a lamp near your bed, store flashlights in easy to reach places, and turn on the lights when using the stairs.
Get a Helping Hand: Consider using a walker or cane if you are not stable on your feet. Make sure you have railings on stairways and non-slip treads on bare-wood floors.
Diet: Eating a well balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough vitamins and minerals each day can help you stay on your feet.
Be Proactive: Consider attending a tested fall prevention program. Community organizations offer programs that reduce the fear of falling and help prevent falls.
Contact Bristol Elder Services at (508) 675-2101 for more information on local prevention and exercise programs.
Extreme Cold Weather Warning
The National Weather Service is forecasting bitter cold temperatures. To that end, the Massachusetts’ Emergency Management Agency presents cold weather safety tips that can be found at www.mass.gov/mema.