What steps are you taking to be prepared? This September, join the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during National Preparedness Month in preparing yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your communities for disasters and emergencies.
National Preparedness Month is an annual opportunity to reinforce the message that taking a few simple steps can go a long way in being ready for all kinds of hazards that are common to our region, including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, fires, and more.
Preparedness is for everyone, but this year’s National Preparedness Month campaign is focused specifically on preparing older adults and their caregivers. Older adults may have specific needs after a disaster. According to AARP, several factors make older adults more vulnerable to the impacts of disasters, which include, but are not limited to:
- Increased likelihood of mobility difficulties;
- Increased lack of access to cell phones and internet access; and
- An increased lack of financial means to prepare or relocate.
“A growing body of evidence shows that older adults are disproportionately impacted by weather-related emergencies and natural disasters,” said FEMA Region 3 Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “Now is the time to consider what you can do to be prepared, or help a friend, neighbor, or loved one take steps to get prepared too.”
FEMA’s Ready campaign has resources, including simple, low-cost tips, to help older adults and their caregivers address these challenges. Some of these tips include:
- Plan for your transportation if you need help evacuating.
- Include items that meet your individual needs, such as medicines, medical supplies, batteries and chargers, in your emergency supply kit.
- Make copies of Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance cards.
- Make sure at least one person in your support network has an extra key to your home, knows where you keep your emergency supplies, and knows how to use lifesaving equipment or administer medicine.
- If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, find out their emergency plans and work with them to identify back-up service providers.
- If you have a communication disability, consider carrying printed cards or storing information on your devices to inform first responders and others how to communicate with you.
- Don’t forget your pets or service animals. Not all shelters accept pets, so plan for alternatives. Consider asking loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area if they can help with your animals.
Visit ready.gov/older-adults and ready.gov/es/adultos-mayores for more information.
FEMA Region 3 will be sharing more tips on how to prepare throughout the month of September on our social media. Follow us on X (@FEMARegion3) or find us on LinkedIn or Nextdoor and share your tips and actions you’re taking to prepare with the hashtag #PreparewithR3.