Emergency preparedness is crucial for everyone, but it is especially important for older adults like yourself, who may be more vulnerable during a disaster. Depending on where you live in the country, you could be at a higher risk for health problems associated with extreme weather, such as heatstroke, hypothermia, or dehydration. Preparing for severe weather can help you stay safe and healthy.
Below are some emergency preparedness tips to keep in mind, especially if you live alone or have limited mobility to avoid weather emergencies:
- Have a plan: First and foremost, you should develop an emergency plan with your family, friends, or caregivers that outlines what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure to discuss where you will go, how you will communicate, and how you will get there should you ever need to evacuate your home.
- Create an emergency kit: Make sure you have an emergency kit on-hand that includes items such as non-perishable food, water, medications, a first aid kit, a list of emergency contacts, a flashlight, batteries, and a radio. Regularly check expiration dates on items so that you can keep your kit up-to-date for when a weather disaster strikes.
- Know your resources: As a senior, it’s beneficial for you to identify local resources such as senior centers, shelters, and transportation services that can assist you in case of an emergency. If you are an Upside member, you can rely on your Upside Manager to help you develop a list.
- Keep important documents safe: Keep copies of important documents, such as your identification, insurance policies, and medical records, in a safe and easily accessible place. Also, provide copies to a loved one who can act on your behalf in the event of an emergency.
- Stay informed: Stay informed about potential disasters and emergency alerts through the local news and radio stations, or sign up for emergency alerts through your local emergency management agency. You can even have emergency alerts or text messages sent directly to your phone in case bad weather happens during the night.
- Plan for your pets: If you have pets, make sure to include them in your emergency preparedness plan and have supplies ready for them as well.
- Consider a medical alert system: If you live alone or have pre-existing medical conditions, consider getting a medical alert system that can quickly connect you with emergency services in case of any type of emergency.
Weather emergencies can be stressful and traumatic, especially for older adults who may have experienced other disasters in the past. Preparing for a weather emergency can help you feel more in control of a difficult situation and reduce your anxiety about the unknown.
If you’re not ready to relocate from your home or to downsize into a senior living apartment, there are other options available. You can get the support you need to prepare for any of life’s emergencies with the help of Upside. You choose where you want to live, and we will connect you with services and events you care about while also providing you with a dedicated Upside Manager to support your individual needs. Learn more about our offerings and see how it works.