Emergency Preparedness: What Older Adults and Caregivers Need to Know

Over the last twelve months, we have seen many devastating storms reaching different parts of the country. Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast last fall, and more recently, there have been tornadoes crossing the Midwest. In fact, June 1 marked the first day of Hurricane Season in the U.S.

It is important to be prepared, alert, and informed when it comes to emergency preparedness—especially for older adults. Here are some quick tips from Healthinaging.org to help older adults and caregivers stay safe during weather-related emergencies.

Create an Emergency Plan

If you have a chronic health problem, consider ordering a medical ID bracelet or pendant. Information on medical conditions, such as diabetes or asthma; drug and food allergies; prescribed medicines; and emergency contacts can be engraved onto the surface of these IDs.
If you’re asked to evacuate your home, pick two meeting places – one near your home, the other outside the neighborhood. Make sure relatives or friends have the address and phone number of the meeting location. If an older adult you care for lives in a nursing facility, know where he or she will be taken during an evacuation.
Ask local authorities if they have a disaster plan for your community. Also ask where evacuees can go for medical care or emergency supplies, if necessary.

Stock an Emergency Supplies Kit

Many older adults take medications for chronic health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, so it’s essential to have back-up supplies. Buy ice packs and an insulated bag big enough to hold a two-week supply of any medications that require refrigeration, such as insulin. And always carry a list of all your current medications and dosages.

Make sure to include the following medical supplies, if applicable: blood sugar monitoring equipment and insulin; dentures; hearing aid batteries; eyeglasses; medications; and a copy of your insurance or Medicare card.

For a complete set of tips and recommendations please visit www.healthinaging.org/emergencypreparedness.


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