Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee

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Special Planning Needs for Seniors

audio icon Podcast:
Preparedness for People with Disabilities

by Rita Hoffman, Former Emergency Management Coordinator, City of Olathe
[Plain text transcript]


Your Very Personal Preparedness Inventory

Do you have children? Are you a senior? Do you or anyone in your family have a disability of any type? Do you need assistance with daily activities or transportation? Do you take medication or use any type of equipment to assist you? Do you have a service animal or a pet?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is doubly important for you to take steps ahead of time to prepare for disasters of all kinds.

In addition to standard emergency supplies, you may require additional resources to meet your specific needs. Extra consideration must be given to include these additional resources into your emergency preparedness efforts. The booklet available at the link below is meant to help you 1) assess the additional resources you need the most; 2) gather important information about those resources; and 3) identify possible alternative sources. Download and print the booklet to get started with your inventory┬╗

Are you a senior citizen? If so, please take responsibility and prepare now for potential emergencies that may affect you and your family.

Disasters can strike quickly and without warning. Even if you have physical limitations, you can still protect yourself. In the event of an emergency, local officials and relief workers may not be able to reach everyone right away, so take responsibility. Keep in touch with your neighbors, look out for each other and be aware of anyone who may need special help. Knowing what to do is your best protection.

By planning ahead, you can avoid waiting in long lines for critical supplies, such as food, water and medicine.

Disaster preparation checklist for seniors

For your safety and comfort, have at least three days’ worth of emergency supplies (both medical and general) packed and ready in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffel bag. Make sure your bag has an identification tag and label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers that you need.

Be prepared to go to a shelter if your area is without electrical power; if there is a chemical emergency affecting your area; if flood water is rising; if your home has been severely damaged; or if police or other local officials tell you to evacuate.

Your medical information list should include:

If you need to evacuate:

In some communities, people who need help or transportation during an evacuation are asked to register that need with their local government. Call your local emergency management office for information and suggestions about what to do during an evacuation.

If you are sure you have enough time before evacuating:

For more information, contact your local emergency management office.