Tips for Senior Citizens
Make a Plan
It is important to remember that during a disaster you may not have access to everyday conveniences. This is your chance to make your plan now. Have a personal support network which will consist of people who will help you in an emergency. What do you currently use for transportation? If this mode of transportation is not available, do you have a back-up? Keep a copy of your plan in your Emergency Supply Kit.
Things you should include in your plan:
- Communications plan- Keep important contact information in your wallet and in your kit. Emergencies can cause stress and you may forget what you are supposed to do. Having the information written down can help you remember what to do and help restore your calm. For a printer friendly communications plan, click the button below.
- Deciding to Stay or Go: Depending on the nature of the emergency, you may have to decide if you will remain in your home or if you need to leave your home. You should include in your plan where you will go in the event of an emergency as well as a contact number. Be proactive and monitor news reports for information on the disasters so that you can make an informed decision of what the best choice is for you.
- Remember your Pets- Whether you are staying to weather out the emergency or evacuating to a safer location, it is important to remember your pets. If you evacuate take your pets with you. If you stay, ensure you have enough pet supplies on hand to properly care for your pet. When planning for your shelter options remember to check and see if your pet is welcome too.
- Fire Safety--Make sure you have two ways to leave every room in the event of a fire. Check for hazards that could fall and block an escape route, such as bookcases, hanging pictures, and hanging lights. Check hallways, windows, stairwells, and every room in your home for hazards that may prevent you from evacuating. Secure or remove items that may fall.
- Contact your local Emergency Management for more information on creating a plan to aid you in an emergency.
Get a Kit
Whether you are sheltering in place or evacuating to a safer location, it is important to have an Emergency Disaster Supply Kit. This kit should include items that you need to survive. Two things to remember when creating your kit are: 1) Have enough supplies in your kit for each person to last at least three days and 2) Check your kit every six months (a good way to remember this is when you change the clocks) to ensure that none of the items have expired.
Some basic things to include in your kit are:
- Food (non-perishable)
- Battery powered NOAA Weather Radio
- Extra Batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Moist towelettes
- Trash Bags
- Plastic Ties
- Wrench or pliers (To turn off utilities)
- Local Maps
- Pet Food, water, and supplies
- Copies of Important documents (such as a will, rental lease, mortgage papers, birth certificates, etc...)
- Small denominations of cash
- For a complete list of items to have in a disaster supply kit, click on the button below.
Not only is it important to be prepared for an emergency, but it is equally important to be informed. Knowing what could possibly be coming your way for severe weather is important. Listening to emergency personnel as they give out instructions during an emergency is important as well.
Some ways to stay informed:
- Purchase a NOAA weather radio. This is your "smoke detector" for severe weather. NOAA weather radios can be purchased at most electronic stores. They come in many sizes and some offer different features. Make sure you have one that can operate on batteries in the event that you lose electricity. Also keep extra batteries on hand.
Know what disasters can occur in your area, tornadoes, flooding, snow storms, ice storms, earthquakes, etc. Knowing what can happen can help you prepare your plan.
You can also be affected by other disasters such as a house fire or a pandemic. It is important to be prepared and have a plan in place if either of these were to occur.
Know the difference between watches, warnings, and advisories. Knowing the difference can tell you whether you need to seek shelter or keep an eye out for potential severe weather.
More and more people are using the internet. Make sure you are safely using the internet to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. Use strong passwords and strong security software. If you don't know what it is, don't open it.
For more information on how you can be more informed, click on the button below.