Step aside COVID, hurricane season has arrived with kits


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Peggie LaPointe, left, and Theresa Russell assemble hurricane kits for distribution to seniors in the community.

Adam Palumbo

For more than a decade, Space Coast area organizations would host a festival for seniors in conjunction with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in June. COVID-19 put the kibosh on any large gathering this year, but that didn’t stop TRIAD for Brevard Seniors, the Florida Department of Children and Families, Brevard Commission on Aging and the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation, plus sponsors that include Senior Life, to come up with a drive-through event. 

It won’t be a party this year, but it will be a way to obtain some valuable information and gadgets to help seniors during the next threat du jour, Hurricane Season. Volunteers from these organizations will be at four strategic locations from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 12 to distribute Hurricane Preparedness Kits to seniors who drive up to pick these up. 

“Volunteers wearing masks will bring the kits to the seniors, who stay in the safety of their cars, so there will be minimum exposure,” said Theresa Russell, a senior human services program specialist with the Department of Children and Families’ Adult Protective Services. 

In Melbourne, the kits will be available at the parking lot of the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation at 4676 N. Wickham Road. Kits also will be distributed at the Palm Bay Police Department, 130 Malabar Rd. SE, and at Hospice of St. Francis at 1250 Grumman Place in Titusville. Beachside residents can get their kits at the Ascension Lutheran Church parking lot at 1053 Pinetree Drive in Indian Harbour Beach. 

The useful kits include an information booklet from Brevard County Emergency Management, a DOEA Disaster Preparedness guide, Senior Life’s 2020 Boomer Guide, a handy keychain with a built-in can opener and whistle, and a flashlight, among other goodies helpful during emergencies. 

“We want them to be prepared for any emergency, and these items can be used for a lot of things beyond a hurricane,”  Russell said. 

The kit also includes pens, reusable bags for groceries, waterproof bags to hold important documents, bandaids, a small first aid kit and a bag for medications.

“The insulated cooler is perfect to keep medicines at the right temperature,” Russell said. 

Vial of Life, a small container that allows individuals to have complete medical information ready for emergency personnel, also is included, as is the unique Scent Evidence K9 Scent Preservation Kit, designed to collect and store the scent of loved ones so police department bloodhounds can track them should they go missing.

“At the sites, you will also be able to register for special needs hurricane shelters and arrange for transport to the shelter if needed,” Russell said.