Emergency Preparedness Month

Kathleen Votava, Aging Services Program Specialist at ACL

September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation that emergencies like this can cause, it is a timely moment to remind everyone to make their emergency preparedness plans and to also share helpful resources.

Emergencies can happen anywhere and without warning so with a little advance thinking and actions, people and their communities can be better ready to cope when a disaster occurs. Advanced preparation is especially important for older adults and people with disabilities because there may have additional needs to consider, including medical issues, accessibility, transportation, and more.

The federal government has guidance and resources on emergency preparedness planning at Ready.gov , including information specifically for older adults and people with disabilities . Emergency preparedness tips include:

  • Plan a support network in advance with a contact list.
  • Build an emergency kit with your unique considerations in mind with what you need to maintain your health, safety and independence. For example, include any specialized items that you may need such as extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals, and any other items that you might need.
  • Wear medical alert tags, bracelets, or have this information with you.
  • Prepare alternate plans for help if you use assisted technology, communications devices, and accessible transportation.
  • Include your service animals and pets in your emergency plans including the kit and plan for alternative options as not all shelters may accept pets.
  • Plan for a power outage.

To read the complete article, visit https://www.acl.gov/node/1000