Bay Area Emergency Preparedness Coalition

For Seniors and people with Disabilities


BASIC TIPS IN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FOR SENIORS & PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

In the event of a serious disaster everyone should be self-sufficient for at least three days without help or emergency services, with streets closed and with no stores open. There may be no electricity, gas, water or telephone service. Remember your home is the best place to stay -- if it is not too badly damaged to be safe.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO HAVE: OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS YOU MAY NEED:

OTHER GOOD-TO-HAVE SUPPLIES:

THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR HOME:

SPECIAL PLANNING TIPS:

SPECIAL TIPS DURING AND AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE:

Special Issues for Seniors to Consider in Preparing for Earthquakes

  1. What preparedness advice is offered for seniors who rely on equipment and assistive devices (e.g., hearing aids, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, respirators, eye glasses, etc.)?

  2. How can seniors, who rely on personal attendants or care givers to provide assistance, prepare for the fact this support may not be available after a major earthquake?

  3. As aging may limit certain self-sufficiency skills, what contingencies should older adults prepare for following an emergency?

    Evaluate your capabilities, limitations and needs, as well as your surroundings, to determine what type of help your personal support network may need to provide in an emergency.

  4. How can older persons, who may have physical impairments that limit mobility, address these evacuation needs?

  5. The need for seniors to have important information readily available is critical in case of injury, evacuation, or as a result of shock given the trauma of the event. What information is most helpful to document?

  6. Given that tap water may be contaminated following a major earthquake, how do we prepare older persons who are more susceptible to dehydration?

  7. Many older adults may have hypertension and therefore food should be low in sodium. Similarly, diabetic elderly require foods reduced in sugar.

  8. Being older means feeling more vulnerable. In a major disaster, feelings of acute anxiety, confusion and fear will be issues as critical for seniors as their physical condition.
    Again, seniors are strongly encouraged to develop a buddy system or personal support network. Someone who can check in following an emergency will become an important ally in alleviating earthquake induced stress. Seniors may want individuals who form their personal support network to:

  9. What special preparedness tips can be offered for seniors who take necessary medications?


SPECIAL THANKS:
The above is a very condensed version of the more comprehensive Earthquake Tips for People with Disabilities Package developed by the INDEPENDENT LIVING RESOURCE CENTER OF SAN FRANCISCO. The package comes with Earthquake Tips for People with a Specific Disability (i.e., Mobility, Visual, Communication, Cognitive, Psychiatric, Hearing, etc.), Tips for Collecting Emergency Documents, Tips for Creating an Emergency Health Information Card, a Checklist and Fact Sheet.