Preparing Makes Sense for Older Americans. Get Ready Now. The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks.
By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. This guide outlines common sense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen. Preparing makes sense for older Americans. Get Ready Now.
There are commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.
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.
Seniors should keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items you might need. Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require. Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration. Make arrangements for any assistance to get to a shelter.
Create a support network
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, maybe longer.
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. Also consider keeping electronic copies of this information on a flash drive. This could be useful for others even if you don’t personally use a computer often.
If you are able to obtain an emergency supply of prescription medications or consumable medical supplies, be sure to establish a plan for rotating your supply so it remains up-to-date.
If you can’t easily obtain a emergency supplies, talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you can do to prepare.
If you are unable to obtain an emergency supply, be sure to always fill prescriptions on the first day you become eligible for a refill, rather than waiting until the day you run out.
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, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
Consider other personal needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries and oxygen.
Include copies of important documents in your emergency supply kits such as family records, medical records, wills, deeds, social security number, charge and bank accounts information and tax records.
Have copies of your medical insurance and Medicare cards readily available.
Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices or other life-sustaining devices. Include operating information and instructions.
Make sure that a friend or family member has copies of these documents.
Include the names and contact information of your support network, as well as your medical providers.
If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
Keep these documents in a water proof container for quick and easy access.