Tips for Senior Citizens to Survive Cyclones


One of the most dreaded natural phenomena. 

The recent cyclone that hit the coast of Odisha, West Bengal and Bangladesh has toiled the lives of many. Kolkata received a major hit of the 'Amphan cyclone' on the evening of 20th May. The storm uprooted many trees, electricity poles and destroyed many houses.  

The cyclonic storm also affected the mental health of the people. The constant fear of destruction or loved ones getting injured kept them on the run throughout the evening. Senior citizens were no different.  

The gushing noise of the storm and the constant sound of destruction scared every part of them. That being said, such scary situations have often witnessed the heart failure of many senior citizens, especially those who are alone. The ones with a home attendant for elderly survived the situation a bit better than the ones without. 

But will the ones without help, have to lose life? 

Well, the answer is a BIG NO

The news of the approaching cyclone will be offered well in advance by the various news channels available. It is advisable to make some arrangements beforehand to deal with such situations. Here are some tips on how senior citizens can survive cyclones – 

  1. Lock all openings – It is better to shut your doors and windows to let the natural calamity out. Why witness destruction happening? Staying aloof during this situation will help you stay safe. In case you want to see the world outside, it is advisable to take a look once the storm passes by. Also, keeping the storm out will safe from gushes of air destroying your indoors. It may sound cruel and selfish, but in such situations, strong actions may help you survive. 
  2. Switch off electricity – You never know what form the storm can take and hence its better to switch off the electricity and take out all the plugs from the socket. This will prevent short circuits and will stop your house from being electrified. You can always appoint a female or a male attendant in Kolkata to assist you in such tasks. 
  3. Stop connections with the media – Although media can work as a source of entertainment for the senior citizens, in such situations it can act as a curse. Stay away from receiving 'live' news as it will just add to the fear and panic. Also, stop updating others about the present scenario as their condition may be worse than you, and at this age your heart will not be able to digest such destructive news. In case you contact your loved ones consider discussing something apart from what is happening outside and support each other at such difficult times. 
  4. Seek help – Considering the seriousness of the situation and expecting the worst-case scenario it is best that you consult your doctor online well-in-advance if you find any symptoms of abnormality or panic. You never know when the adverse effects of such cyclones will get subdued. 

Staying all by yourself can further worsen the situation. Many healthcare organisations offer services like home attendants for elderly that can help you in such difficult times. 

Besides, why just during natural calamities, these attendants can help you throughout the years with your daily chores and also act as a companion. During such dreadful situations, your attendant can serve as both a mental and emotional help. So keep in constant touch with the home care service providers to seek help in such situations. 

Also, make other necessary arrangements to deal with such a catastrophe, like - 

  1. Stock medication - The ongoing lockdown is a bonus to the recent Amphan cyclones situation. Keeping this situation in mind, it is best that you stock medication up well-in-advance to battle such adverse situations. Having medicines by your side will free you from the fear of facing emergencies during such cyclones. 
  2. Make necessary arrangements - The recent cyclone has hit the electricity supply of many houses adversely. There was no electricity for days. To battle such situations make sure you make the necessary arrangements beforehand. arrange for other alternate sources of electricity such as torches, emergency lights, inverters, etc. Also make proper arrangements for cooking gas beforehand to cook food and survive.  
  3. Stock food - While you are stuck to the news channel and stocking news on this approaching cyclone it is advisable that you also stock food up. You will never know when the situation subdues and hence it is better to have food available in order to prevent starvation. 
  4. Keep your necessary devices charged - As there are high chances of the loss of electricity after the cyclone passes by, it is best that you keep the necessary gadgets such as mobiles, laptops and others properly charged. 
  5. Note down essential phone numbers - Keep a note of the necessary phone numbers to help in case of emergencies. It is best that you write them down to make them handy even if the battery of your mobile dies.  
  6. Keep healthcare devices handy - Senior citizens require medical devices and hence such equipment should be kept available other arrangements should be made well-in-advance. For example, those who require oxygen support should keep handy an extra cylinder as oxygen concentrators fail to work in the absence of electricity. Furthermore, Nebulizers too may fail to work and thus it is best to keep spacer devices and inhalers available to support for the time being.  

In addition, help others to tackle such situations. Lend your helping hand to the people in need and overcome the circumstances together. Remember, as humans we are all in this together irrespective of age, caste and religion.