A Growing Senior Population
In the United States, the number of seniors is constantly increasing. From 2007 to 2017, the number of adults aged 60 and over increased from 52 million to 71 million. As of 2016, 12.5% of Orange County’s population is 65 and older, which is projected to double by 2040 when almost one in four residents will be 65 or older.
With such a large aging population, seniors need to be prepared for any disaster situation with different measures depending on their personal state of health, and what they would need in the event of a disaster.
Seniors with disabilities should take extra precautions to prepare in advance. Emergency kits for seniors and those with disabilities should last for seven days, and a strong support network is critical.
Planning for Seniors
If you’re a senior, or are helping an aging parent, make sure you reviewing each of the following:
Make a list of prescription medicines including dosage, treatment and allergy information. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you need to prepare.
Consider other personal needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen.
Identify the items you use daily and think about what you might do if they became limited or unavailable.
If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
Make sure everyone in your support network knows where you keep your emergency kit and plan. Plan in advance for a temporary place to stay, in case you are forced to evacuate.
Know the safest places in your home for each type of emergency. Determine the best escape routes from your home.
Create an emergency preparedness buddy plan (include attendants, readers, interpreters, family, friends, neighbors) with people who know about your medications, how to operate assistive technology devices and the location of your emergency supply kits.
Know where all of your medical, insurance and other emergency documents are located, and make sure they can be accessed quickly.
Download the ReadyOC Family Emergency Plan Template to create your own family emergency plan. Print it out, cut it out, and keep it with you so that you and your family are always prepared!