CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In a coastal region familiar with the damage and dangers that big storms can bring, a local nonprofit is trying to help seniors prepare for any future emergencies.
Using a national grant, Charleston Area Senior Citizens is packing disaster preparation kits and distributing them to older adults that live alone and in lower-income communities.
“There was a recognized need for getting seniors to be informed and prepared,” said Mary Cat Pittman, who oversaw the kits for CASC.
Each kit contains $25 worth of supplies, including a radio, flashlight, an emergency blanket, a reusable water bottle, and first-aid items like bandages and gauze. The project is designed to ensure vulnerable individuals are ready in the event of a natural disaster.
For Sheryl White, the kit from CASC helped her prepare for a possible evacuation and allowed her to feel safer while living in the path of Irma in downtown Charleston.
“I didn’t have to evacuate, but I felt safe,” White said. She momentarily lost power and accessed her kit for a source of electricity until a generator kicked on in her building.
“The kit came in handy when the lights went off,” she said. “I used my flashlight from the kit.”
She also found the blanket supplied by volunteers worked to stop water from seeping through a cracked window, proving handy in an unexpected way.
Many kits in the community were handed out last Friday in coordination with Meals on Wheels prior to Irma. The goal: ensure seniors knew to plan ahead for the storm and anything that could possibly go wrong.
“That’s why we put various things in there that they can really use but also as a reminder of what you need, so that first-aid kit should remind you that you’ll need a list of medications,” said Pittman.