BY MARCY SHORTUSE - You’ve got your batteries and flashlights, bottled water, plywood, canned food, and extra medications. You may think you’re ready for hurricane season – but what about for those who care for the aging, infirm or mentally fragile?
The Boca Grande Health Clinic will be holding a Lee County panel for hurricane preparedness and evacuation procedures for the whole community on Tuesday, July 2 at 2 p.m. at the Boca Grande Community Center.
The Clinic will also have John Sielert, its executive director, join the panel to answer questions regarding the Clinic under severe weather circumstances.
Grace Ott, a volunteer with the Clinic services program who holds a master’s degree in social work, said one of the topics for caregivers that they have discussed in the past is what to do you do when taking care of someone with memory impairment or dementia when a hurricane is bearing down. She and others in the closely-knit caregiver’s support group realized that this was a topic that should be discussed by many outside their circle, and decided to find a way to hold this public seminar.
“There are lots of special needs people around, and lots of people who take care of them,” she said. “we are holding it at the beginning of storm season and you can get information about where to call, where and how to get hang tags, what types of things to take if you have to evacuate, and what are the most up-to-date suggestions by experts. We will also discuss alerts you can get on your cell phone. This is a very useful tool to learn about. Years ago they didn’t have the same type of technology that can help people plan, and when they should decide it is time to evacuate.”
Boca Grande Fire Department Chief C.W. Blosser and Lt. Jeff Corkhill from the island’s Lee County Sheriff’s Office division will be present at the presentation, as well as Lee County Public Safety Director Robert Farmer, Lee County EMS representative Scott Tuttle, Lee County Emergency Planning Manager Chief Gerald Campbell, and Kathy Banson-Verrico, the interim executive director of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority.
There is no charge for the presentation. Call the fire department at 964-2995, the sheriff’s office at 964-2400, or the Boca Grande Health Clinic at 964-2276 for more information.
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