September is National Preparedness Month. Everyone should make a plan to be safe when a disaster occurs, whether it’s a tornado, wildfire, flood or other natural disaster, or when human-caused events occur, such as power outages and acts of terrorism. Statistics show that older adults are hardest hit during these emergencies. Here’s a checklist to help them prepare.
If your family hires professional in-home care to keep older loved ones safe and well, talk to the agency about how they address emergency situations, and ask how they can be part of your loved one’s plan.
Infographic: Emergency Preparedness Tips for Older Loved Ones
When natural or human-caused disasters strike, seniors are often hardest hit. Here are 10 steps families can take to keep their loved ones safe.
- Know the types of emergencies most likely to occur in your loved one’s area.
- Help create a support system of neighbors, friends and professionals.
- In case of a power outage, have a manually operated wheelchair available.
- Ensure a backup power supply for oxygen and other electrical medical devices.
- Prepare emergency supplies, including nonperishable food, water and a flashlight.
- Always keep a two-week supply of medications and other medical needs on hand.
- Identify an evacuation shelter that can meet your loved one’s medical needs.
- Pack an evacuation bag, including food, water, and your loved one’s medical supplies.
- Establish a communication plan, including a cellphone and out-of-area contact person.
- If your loved one has pets or a service animal, make preparations for them as well.