In addition to developing an Emergency Plan, it is important for older Americans to consider how an emergency might affect their individual needs.
- Personal Support Network
If you think you might need assistance during a disaster, talk to your neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers about creating a personal support network. Share and practice your emergency plan with these people. Make sure that someone in your support network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need to make it on your own for at least a week. Make a list of your prescriptions including dosage, treatment, and allergy information. Teach people in your support network how to administer your medications. If it is not possible to have a week-long supply of medicines, keep as much as possible on hand and talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you should do to prepare.
- Medical Equipment
If you use medical equipment in your home, make sure the people in your support network know how to operate it. If your medical equipment requires electricity, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to prepare for power outages.
- Other Personal Items
In addition to your basic emergency supply kit, consider including other personal items that you might need such as eyeglasses (and a copy of your prescription), hearing aids (and extra batteries), wheelchair batteries, oxygen, and denture needs.
For additional information, visit http://www.ready.gov/seniors. This website features an instructional video that will demonstrate three simple steps older Americans can take to be better prepared for an emergency. Also, be sure to download a copy of the "Preparing Make Sense for Older Americans" brochure for quick reference.