Emergency Preparedness & Older Americans: May is Older Americans Month

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Provided by the Prince William Department of Fire & Rescue

There are specific seasons, throughout the year, when emergency preparedness is at the forefront, i.e. tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, etc. We’re often reminded that a disaster/emergency can occur any place, anytime, anywhere, but the key to survival is being prepared. Therefore, one must take into consideration the steps involved in providing a plan of action to ensure the safety of their loved ones, should a disaster occur. The same holds true for older individuals, when responding to an emergency, but there are different factors that must be considered due to changes in their needs and capabilities.

May is Older Americans Month. To assist older adults in preparing and/or responding to an emergency, AARP suggests the following “5 Disaster Prep Tips for Older Americans”:

1) Identify the risks in the area where you live, i.e. hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Do you reside in an area that is a likely target for terrorist attacks? You’ll need to develop different plans for different areas.

2) Make a plan. Have an emergency plan in place ahead of time. Visit ready.gov.

3) Create a support network. Your network can include family, friends, neighbors or people you worship with. Make sure they know what your needs are, i.e. medications and/or any physical limitations you may have, in case of an emergency.

4) Prepare an emergency kit to include water and nonperishable foods for 3 days, medications, eyeglasses, hearing aids, batteries, etc. Click on the link for more information: http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/PrinterFriendl y_OlderAmericans.pdf

5) Ensure you’re in compliance with Social Security’s electronic payments policy for Social Security, VA and other federal benefit checks. A new law went into effect March 1, 2013, requiring electronic payments. Call 1-800-333-1795 or visit godirect.org.

For additional information on disaster safety tips for seniors, visit aarp.org and ready.gov.

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