Basic emergency preparations are important at any age. Older adults and seniors may need to update their preparations as their needs change.
What would you or any older adults in your household need in an emergency? Evaluate those needs, include them in your emergency plan and add any necessary items to your emergency supply kit. Ready.gov recommends that older Americans also consider the following measures:
• 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.
• Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need.
• Keep written copies of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and orders for medical equipment, including dosage, treatment and allergy information in your emergency kit.
• Make a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
• Talk with your service provider about their emergency plans 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. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
• Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference.
• Coordinate with friends, family or specialty transportation service providers in the event of a mandatory evacuation.