INDIANA, (WOWO): With severe cold, wind and intermittent snow throughout the state, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security issued the following press release, encouraging Hoosiers to check on their neighbors, especially those who may be elderly or have special or functional needs:
“We all need help every now and then,” said John Erickson, IDHS director of public information. “Take some time to check on your neighbors.”
A concerned neighbor should check on the following according to their degree of comfort. Always call ahead first if possible:
* Visit during daylight hours if possible.
* Make sure they are comfortable with receiving visitors.
* Ask if it is OK to shovel their driveway and sidewalk. (Use some type of ice melt/traction enhancing product after clearing the walks.)
* See if they need anything from the store that can be picked up, or if there are any other errands.
* Ask if there is any food that needs preparing.
* If space heaters or other alternative heating devices are in use, provide advice, if possible, about safe use.
* With permission, test smoke detectors. If needed, ask to change the batteries.
* Consider connecting with relatives who may need a nearby resource.
* If the neighbors don’t need help, provide contact information in case they might need it in the future.
* Ask if they have at least a few days’ supply of medication they may be taking.
“Being a good neighbor doesn’t take a lot of time,” Erickson said. “You may be surprised the need of those you see often. Even if they don’t need help, they’ll likely be glad to know you care.”