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Disaster Preparedness for Seniors

Senior Health > Disaster Preparedness for Seniors

Disaster Preparedness for seniors is as important as it is for anyone else, but sometimes requires extra considerations—based on infirmities, disabilities, and other major impacting difficulties that some seniors have. Below are guides for some of the typical natural disasters around

Earthquake Disaster Preparedness for Seniors

(information derived and adapted from Disaster Resistant Berkeley’s “Guide for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities”)

A major earthquake can cause power outages, landslides, fires, and the release from gas leaks and other hazardous materials, so being prepared ahead of time and knowing a few procedures in the event an earthquake occurs will help…especially for seniors, who are more at risk during a disaster.

Tips for Before an Earthquake

Prepare to have back-up medication (which a doctor will provide a prescription for), non-perishable food, a can opener, and enough bottled water to last several days.

Keep on hand a battery-operated radio and extra batteries.

Have a service technician come to anchor heavy and important equipment such as telephones and life support systems. Gas and oxegyn tanks should be hooked by braces to walls.

Any “top-heavy” furniture that can tip over or any that might block exits should be moved and/or anchored.

Keep extra batteries for hearing aids, speaker telephones, flashlights (do not light candles) and radios, and have a back-up pair of eyeglasses, as well as a whistle--to signal for help.

Keep a list of important medical information and phone numbers with you at all times.

If you rely on electricity to sustain basic functioning have batteries or a generator available in the case of extended power outages.

Have walking aids near you at all times. Keep extra walking aids in different rooms.

Keep a flashlight near your bed and a security light in each room. Security lights are those lights which plug into any outlet and light up automatically if there is a loss of electricity.

Give two people you trust a spare key and information on any special needs you have—as well as information on where you keep the emergency supplies--so they can come check on you after an earthquake.

Decide--among out-of-the-area friends and family members—on one key person you will call a disaster. That way, if you are unable to contact local friends/family, all of you can use this outside person to relay

During and After an Earthquake

If you are in bed, or if you are out of your wheelchair, stay where you are. Try to cover your head and neck with your hands…as best you can.

If you are in your wheelchair, stay in it. Wheel to a doorway that does not have a door. If you are able, cover your head and neck with your

If you are standing, duck under a heavy desk or table and hold onto the legs if possible. Or, if you are able, and near a doorway, stand in the doorway with your head and neck covered as best as possible.

Tune your portable radio to a local station for emergency updates.

Senior Health > Disaster Preparedness for Seniors