KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Inclement weather reminds us all to lend a hand to a neighbor or relative in need. Not only does the storm have the potential to impact travel, but heavy snow could cause power outages and downed phone lines.
The Knoxville Knox County Community Action Committee wants to make sure you have a backup plan in case you have trouble reaching your loved ones - especially the elderly.
"Particularly, our elderly, those individuals who live in the home and small children, it's going to be very important that as a community and as neighbors and as friends, we check on those individuals," said Cecelia Waters, director of Energy and Community Services.
If you care for someone who lives alone, checking on them could be complicated by poor road conditions and communication. That's where a safety network comes in, said Waters.
One alternative is purchasing a prepaid cellphone that will work even if phone lines are down. TracFones and other similar prepaid phones are available for as little as $10 at retailers like Target. You can activate the phone and then buy cards to add additional minutes. Minutes also have expiration dates though, so be careful.
If your elderly loved one does not have a cellphone, a TracFone used for emergency purposes, may be a good idea.
"This is a good time to remind people to set up networks of safety. Perhaps the neighbors next door to reach out, and befriend neighbors of neighbors, and neighbors of family members so that they can also look out for one another," said Waters.
Get the cellphone numbers of nearby neighbors who might be able to assist you if you have concerns about your elderly loved one. "Those who live alone who are elderly in particular, if they can be checked on, to make sure they are all right," said Waters, "To make sure that their neighbors will also check on them, will be a very good thing."