Preparing Older Adults for Disasters
Each September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Ready Campaign sponsors National Preparedness Month to encourage everyone in America to prepare for disasters and emergencies that could happen anywhere and at any time. The focus this year is on preparing older adults and their caregivers ahead of disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and floods.
Do you have parents living alone, or maybe several generations living together under your roof? The Fallston VFAC asks that you take a few minutes to develop a plan now in the event an emergency situation occurs affecting your older family, loved ones or friends.
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2035 there will be more Americans over the age of 65 than under the age of 18. Older adults are pillars in our communities and have contributed so much to this great nation.
But older adults can face greater risks when it comes to extreme weather events and emergencies, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas. It is important that older adults and those who care for them have the proper tools and resources to be prepared for disasters and emergencies. Follow the links provided in this article to obtain useful information and resources to keep the seniors in your life safe.
This year’s theme “Take Control in 1, 2, 3,” encourages everyone, especially older adults and their caregivers, to become more prepared with three simple steps:
- Assess your needs.
- Make a plan.
- Engage your support network.
FEMA is encouraging its partners, emergency managers and all those who work with and support older adult communities to access the new Ready.gov campaign webpage available in English and Spanish languages at Ready.gov/older-adults and Ready.gov/es/adultos-mayores for preparedness messaging, graphics and resources. FEMA created a toolkit with key messaging, graphics and talking points to help partners uplift and amplify this year’s National Preparedness Month theme.
Additionally, in observance of National Preparedness Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a series of discussion-based activities to help public health departments develop “whole community” plans that consider the impacts of social determinants of health on personal health preparedness and response.
Wildfires, floods, extreme heat, and other disasters can significantly impact indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides tips and many educational resources on how to maintain indoor air quality during emergencies.
During all of hurricane season, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds everyone about the life safety hazards associated with a variety of consumer products that are commonly used post-storm, such as portable generators, charcoal, candles, and small electrical appliances.