Natural Disaster Preparedness For Seniors
June is National Disaster Preparedness Month, so here are some quick tips to make sure you and your parents are ready for the inevitable unplanned natural disaster.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Natural Disaster Preparedness For Seniors
Natural Disaster Preparedness For Seniors
June is National Disaster Preparedness Month, so here are some
quick tips to make sure you and your parents are ready for the
inevitable unplanned natural disaster. This is especially important
for elderly Americans, many of whom have difficulty getting out of
What’s worse, less than 25% of elderly individuals have a disaster
preparedness plan according to one study. Here are some helpful
tips for keeping elderly parents safe during natural disasters.
Make sure to have an emergency supply kit ready as well as a
personalized emergency plan including where they will go in the
case of a natural disaster, what they should bring with them
including medications, eyeglasses, hearing aids and extra batteries
as well as assistive technologies, how they will get there and who
they should call for help.
Adults should focus on natural
disasters likely to occur in the
area. It is also a good idea to have
three days’ worth of canned meals
for natural disasters and develop a
family meeting place and
Try to include pets in the plan.
Generally this means getting pets
to a local rescue or care facility, so
they can be properly cared for or
euthanized. Be aware that most
shelters do not allow animals to
If you have an elderly parent who may have difficulty leaving
lifetime possessions in the case of a disaster, talk with them
beforehand and make sure they know that the risk of dying is too
great to stay behind. Try also to make sure that they are aware of
the protocols of being evacuated by emergency responders to
make them feel safer if they need to be evacuated as this will
make them feel safer and more comfortable in this instance.
Some older adults go to shelters when they need to evacuate an
area or find safety after a disaster. These shelters offer meals,
personal hygiene items and first aid but do not keep pets. Many
seniors also find these shelters to be difficult and seniors with
dementia often find them to be overwhelming, overcrowded and
If the parents need medical help, know the location of special
needs shelters. In many cases when disasters can be predicted
such as in the case of a flood or tornado, government sets up
shelters for adults who are medically dependent and need medical
Be advised however that even though these shelters are often
staffed by medical professionals, most of these shelters require
that seniors to supply their own medical equipment and
caregivers. This is a last resort for seniors who cannot get out of
After a disaster, attempt to check up with senior parents and make
sure they have food, water, medications and are coping well with
any complications from natural disasters.
One of the biggest problems for seniors in the case of natural
disasters is a continued requirement for medical treatment. Upon
admission for services, all BrightStar clients are given a priority
code that determines agency response in the case of natural
These forms are filed with the appropriate agency and maintained
in the patient’s medical record.
Priority code #1 indicates that a client requires assistance to leave
home in an emergency situation. In this case, efforts will be made
to aid in evacuation and a family member or designee will be
Code # 2 suggests that evacuation can occur by the senior on his
or her own.
If care is medically necessary, BrightStar will do everything
possible to locate a caregiver for the client and make sure personal
care needs are met.
In extreme cases, when a caregiver cannot be located for clients
because of the disaster, the local disaster authority will be
contacted to help provide care. BrightStar also maintains a disaster
plan to be activated in the event of any natural or other disaster.
For more information on BrightStar’s emergency preparedness
plan, contact BrightStar Healthcare.
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