(WHBC) – The Ohio Department of Aging is urging older Ohioans to prepare for the coming winter storm, and is asking people to check in on their older loved ones and neighbors during it.

“An event like Winter Storm Harper presents significant risks for all Ohioans, but older adults can be at increased risk from the storm’s effect,” said director Ursel McElroy.

“Physical changes, isolation and other factors can make older adults more susceptible to weather’s wrath, so it’s important to plan ahead and check in on each other.”

He says the department’s Safe at Home web page includes resources for older Ohioans to be prepared for emergencies.

Advice includes:

Create an emergency kit that contains a battery-operated radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, drinking water, food that can be prepared without electricity, extra blankets and a first aid kit.

Check your medication supplies to ensure you have enough to last through the storm. Keep list of the medications you so you can share with first responders in an emergency.

Check medical equipment and assistive devices (such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, lifts and oxygen tanks), ensuring they are in good shape and are easy to locate in an emergency.

Have non-powered options for equipment that won’t work during a power outage.

Know where main valves and switches are for utilities such as gas, water and electricity and make sure you can access and operate them.

Designate a safe place to go, such as a friend or neighbor’s house, warming center or community shelter. Have a plan for getting there if it is unsafe to stay at home.

Ask a reliable family member, friend or neighbor to visit or call regularly to make sure you are OK. Have a plan for what they should do if they can’t reach you.