Do you have a plan for your seniors?
If you or someone close to you are elderly, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency. Those with people with disabilities and other access and functional needs should take extra precautions to prepare in advance; their emergency kits should last for seven days and a strong support network is critical.
- Make a list of prescription medicines including dosage, treatment and allergy information. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you need to prepare.
- Consider other personal needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batters, wheelchair batteries and oxygen.
- If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
- Make sure everyone in your support network knows where you keep your emergency kit and plan.
- Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability.
- Add disability specific items to your emergency supply kits such as extra medication, food, water, batteries and battery chargers for assistive technology devices. Carry emergency health information at all times including details about your disability, medications, allergies, assistive technology devices, durable medical equipment.
- Create an emergency preparedness buddy plan (include attendants, readers, interpreters, family, friends, neighbors) with people who know about your medications, how to operate assistive technology devices and the location of your emergency supply kits (adapted from ready.gov)
- Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency for people with disabilities and other access and functional needs planning tips.
- Visit the CDC's page that has a wealth of information about Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults.
- Visit Ready.gov's page dedicated to Older Americans and watch an instructional video on how to prepare your seniors.
- If you are a Care Giver, check this link from Disability Preparedness.gov that has information about providing care in an emergency situation.
- Encourage electronic payments for federal benefit recipients. Information on how to do this is available o Ready.gov.