September is National Preparedness Month, and the focus of The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) 2023 Ready Campaign is preparing older adults for any disaster. Older adults tend to be more vulnerable, because they face challenges, such as:
- chronic conditions and the need for associated medications;
- reliance on assistive devices, such as walkers or glasses, as well as support from caregivers and others; and
- social isolation.
To help an older person in your life prepare for an emergency, you can start developing your plan by answering these questions:
- What will you use to communicate with others during an emergency?
- What necessities do you need for you, other household members, and any pets/service animals you may have (e.g., food, water, medications, medical supplies, batteries, chargers)?
- Where will you go if an evacuation is required?
- What transportation might you need in case of an evacuation order? This includes any assistive device(s) you may need, such as a wheelchair, oxygen tank, etc.
- Do you have copies of your important documents, including ID and Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance cards?
Don't forget to identify your support network of family, friends, and others who may be able to assist the older person and practice the action plan with them. Make sure a family or friend has an extra key to your home and know the location of your emergency supplies, medicines, and/or lifesaving equipment.
Learn more on how to help an older Ohioan prepare for an emergency on FEMA's website: ready.gov/older-adults.