Fire Chief's Corner: Emergency preparedness for older adults
Emergency preparedness for older adults. Each person's needs and abilities are unique, but with careful planning anyone can prepare for an emergency. A disaster can occur anytime, anywhere and without warning. Think about how a disaster might aff...
Emergency preparedness for older adults.
Each person's needs and abilities are unique, but with careful planning anyone can prepare for an emergency. A disaster can occur anytime, anywhere and without warning. Think about how a disaster might affect your individual needs.
Have a plan
• Plan to make it on your own for at least 7 days. You may not have access to a medical facility, pharmacy, or grocery store.
• Think about the resources you use daily and what you would do if they were not available.
• Create your emergency supplies kit.
• Identify local shelters or consider friends and family outside your immediate area with whom you could stay.
• If you have a pet, find out if local shelters or family are willing to accept the pet. If not, plan what you would do with the pet if you need to evacuate.
Create a support network
• Talk to friends, family and anyone who might want to help.
• Neighbors helping neighbors is important in an emergency. Make sure you know your neighbors. Introduce yourself and let them know any specific needs you may have.
• Share your emergency plan with anyone in your support network.
• Make sure everyone knows your evacuation plan and where you will go during a disaster.
• Practice your plan with those who have agreed to help you.
• Give an extra key to your home to someone in your support network.
Medications and medical supplies
• Make sure medical equipment, such as a cane or wheelchair, is clearly labeled with your name and contact information.
• Keep a list of your medications, dosage, physician, and pharmacy information.
• Be sure to include your eyeglasses, hearing aid and batteries, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen in your emergency supply kit.
• If you use a battery- powered wheelchair, consider keeping your old un-powered chair for emergency use.
Keep important documents together
• Include copies of important documents in your emergency supplies kit, such as medical records, wills, deeds, social security numbers, charge and bank account information, and tax records. Keep this information in a place that is secure, yet readily accessible if you need to get it in a hurry.
• Have copies of your medical insurance and medical cards available. Include a list of emergency contact numbers.
• If you have any disabilities, especially communication issues, be sure to include a list of them in your emergency information.
• Keep the important documents in a waterproof container.
Almost every month Brainerd Fire gets calls from elderly folks asking very good questions regarding emergency situations like smoke alarms, CO alarms, civil defense sirens, escape plans, and many other emergency type questions. For anyone needing information regarding these types of issues you can call your local Fire Department or our number is 218-828-2312. And as I always say, "be safe out there."