Making a preparedness plan for Seniors

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The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.

There are commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.

Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment. If appropriate, discuss your needs with your employer.

Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration. Make arrangements for any assistance to get to a shelter.

For more information, go to Ready.gov/seniors 

And here is a Transcript of the Video in case you can’t see it:
BEING PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY IS IMPORTANT AT EVERY AGE.

AS AN OLDER AMERICAN, YOU MAY NEED TO THINK ABOUT TAKING SOME SPECIFIC STEPS AS YOU GET YOURSELF PREPARED IN CASE OF A DISASTER.

VIVIAN VASALLO: As people age, their needs change and their capabilities change, so in preparing for disaster, it’s important to think differently than you might have at earlier ages. Preparing for an emergency is very empowering for older adults, because it gives them the opportunity to identify what they need and ensure that they’ll have those needs met when a disaster strikes.

Preparedness for SeniorsTAKE A FEW MINUTES TO CHECK OUT THE READY.GOV WEBSITE WHICH FEATURES SPECIFIC TIPS AND TOOLS FOR OLDER AMERICANS.

THERE ARE A FEW BASICS:

FIRST, LEARN ABOUT THE TYPES OF RISKS THAT COULD AFFECT YOUR AREA.

THEN, MAKE A PLAN.

YOU CAN USE <strong>THE FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN</strong> AVAILABLE ON READY.GOV TO ORGANIZE AND HELP YOU DEVELOP A PLAN THAT WORKS FOR YOU.

CREATE A PERSONAL SUPPORT NETWORK IF YOU NEED SPECIAL ASSISTANCE DURING AN EMERGENCY.

VIVIAN VASALLO: A personal support network is very important for everyone to have, especially older Americans. It can include your family, friends, neighbors, doctors, organizations, places where you worship, places where you do activities, and just making sure that those people know what your needs are in case of a disaster.

LET THE PEOPLE IN YOUR PERSONAL SUPPORT NETWORK KNOW WHAT MEDICINES YOU RELY ON. AND IF YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS.

VIVIAN VASALLO: For older Americans who receive services such as home health care, or receive regular medical treatments, it’s important to reach out to those service providers ahead of time, and communicate to them what your needs are. And also to understand what their emergency plans are in case of a disaster.

IDENTIFY SOMEONE LOCALLY AND SOMEONE OUT OF STATE WHO WILL BE YOUR CONTACT PERSON IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. AND LEARN HOW TO SEND UPDATES VIA TEXT MESSAGING TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

BRIAN BALLTON LAFD: One of the things that we’ve noticed in the past during major emergencies. Both the regular phone lines as well as the cell phone lines were overwhelmed, but people were still able to text message vital pieces of information in terms of location, nature of problem or just to text to say “All is well.”

ONCE YOU HAVE A PLAN, PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT.

A STANDARD EMERGENCY KIT INCLUDES FOOD WATER AND MEDICINE TO SUSTAIN ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD FOR AT LEAST THREE DAYS.

VISIT READY DOT GOV FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF SUGGESTED ITEMS, ALONG WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOW TO PREPARE A FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN.

PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO CERTAIN THINGS LIKE MAKING SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH OF ANY MEDICATIONS YOU TAKE, AN EXTRA PAIR OF GLASSES IN CASE ONE BREAKS, OR EXTRA BATTERIES FOR HEARING AIDS.

VIVIAN VASALLO: It’s important to remember that certain things such as medicines can go bad and spoil. So just make sure, that what you’re putting into your kit is not expired, and check it on a regular basis.

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO OBTAIN AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY, BE SURE TO ALWAYS FILL YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS ON THE FIRST DAY YOU BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR A REFILL, RATHER THAN WAITING UNTIL THE DAY YOU RUN OUT.

KEEP COPIES OF IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS LIKE BIRTH CERTIFICATES, INSURANCE POLICIES, MEDICARE CARDS, AND FINANCIAL FORMS IN YOUR EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT.

ALSO CONSIDER PLACING ELECTRONIC COPIES OF THIS INFORMATION ON A PORTABLE FLASH DRIVE. THIS COULD BE USEFUL FOR OTHERS EVEN IF YOU DON’T PERSONALLY USE A COMPUTER.

FOR THOSE WHO DEPEND ON THE MAIL FOR THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS, SWITCHING TO ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS IS ONE SIMPLE, SIGNIFICANT WAY PEOPLE CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES FINANCIALLY BEFORE DISASTER STRIKES.

FEDERAL BENEFIT RECIPIENTS CAN SIGN UP BY CALLING (800) 333-1795 OR AT WWW.GODIRECT.ORG

A DISASTER CAN OCCUR AT ANY MOMENT. BY MAKING THE COMMITMENT TO PREPARE YOURSELF AHEAD OF TIME, YOU’LL HAVE THE PEACE OF MIND AND CONFIDENCE NEEDED TO GET THROUGH ANY EMERGENCY SITUATION.

CHECK OUT THE INFORMATION FOR OLDER AMERICANS ON READY.GOV AND GET STARTED PREPARING TODAY!
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