TIPS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS WITH DISABILITIES
Seniors and their families should prepare now because disasters can strike quickly and without warning. Even if you have physical limitations, you can still take steps to protect yourself. Local officials and relief workers will 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. Being prepared and knowing what to do in any emergency is your best defense.
Considerations for 72 Hour Emergency Kits:
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 ID tag and label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers that you need. Use the following checklist to get your emergency supplies started, but remember to customize your kit to your individuals needs:
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medicines, list of medications and dosages, list of allergies
- Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries
- Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen
- List of the style and serial numbers of medical devices, such as pacemakers
- Medical insurance and Medicare cards
- List of doctors, relatives or friends to notify if you are injured
- Battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries for each
- Change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Extra set of keys
- Cash, credit cards, change for the pay phone
- Personal hygiene supplies
- Phone numbers of local and non-local relatives or friends
- Insurance agent’s name and phone number.
- One gallon of water per person per day. Remember, plan for at least 3 days and store water in sealed, unbreakable containers that you are able to handle. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
- Non-perishable food supply (including any special foods you require). Choose foods that are easy to store and carry, nutritious and ready-to-eat. Rotate them regularly.
- Manual can opener you are able to use
- Non-perishable food and items for any pets
Considerations on Notifications:
- Do not depend on only one method.There are many ways to receive emergency information. Some options include:
- Many cities and counties in Colorado offer a citizen alert service that allows you to choose your method of notifications that can include a text alert to your mobile phone, a call to your home or cell phone or an email. Please contact your local city or county to determine if this service is available in your area.
- Make sure friends and close neighbors know that you may need to be alerted in case of an emergency. A neighbor might be willing to wake you in case of a tornado in the middle of the night. That person could call or ring your doorbell.
- Find out if your neighborhood has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Make sure that team, and the local police and fire departments, know you may have additional needs in an emergency.
- NOAA Weather/All Hazard Alert Radio with Text Messages. These radios are specially designed to receive emergency information. Some radios can be connected to strobe lights, bed shakers, etc. Learn more about the NOAA radios at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/special_need.htm
- A reverse notification system is also available in some communities. This service can call YOU in an emergency. Check with your local emergency management office to find out if this system is available on your home phone.
- If you use a computer and it is operating (be careful during thunderstorms), check these web sitesfor emergency information. Also, check the web sites for your local city and or county and news radio and television stations.www.weather.gov
Considerations for Making a Plan:
Think of the things that you need and depend on a regular basis, and create an emergency plan that helps you access these resources or services if your usual method is unavailable. Use the following checklist to get started:
- Assemble a 72 hour emergency kit for every member of your household
- Arrange for family, friend or neighbor to check on you in an emergency
- Plan and practice the best escape routes from your home
- Plan for transportation if you need to evacuate to a Red Cross shelter
- Find the safe places in your home for each type of emergency
- Have a plan to signal the need for help
- Post emergency phone numbers near the phone and carry them with you
- If you have home health care service, plan ahead with your agency for emergency procedures
- Teach those who may need to assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment; be sure they will be able to reach you
It is estimated that 3.4 million children live in a household headed by grandparents. Many children visit their grandparents often. To find more information about preparing for an emergency with children and grandchildren please visit: http://www.ready.gov/kids