When it comes to widespread emergency situations such as a power outage, earthquake, or severe weather event, seniors are perhaps the most vulnerable members of our society. Even young children have parents or guardians to comfort them and direct their activities during an emergency, but many seniors in San Diego County potentially face these situations on their own. It takes time for family members or caregivers to reach a senior, especially when transportation is affected by the emergency, and the first moments of a disaster are the most critical ones for those affected.
Establish Reliable Communications
Although many seniors in San Diego County may not be interested in using a cell phone, it may be their best way of communicating with others during an emergency in which phone lines are downed. An emergency cell phone stored in a prominent location with convenient preset speed dials can allow a senior to get verbal help even when the power and land line phone service are affected.
Other Emergency Equipment
Be sure that the home of an elderly person is well stocked with the standard supplies needed during an emergency, as well as any specialized medical equipment or prescriptions that the individual depends on every day. On our website (find link below), you can find a list of items recommended in an emergency kit. Of course, you may want to add some items based on the particular disasters that are more likely to affect seniors in San Diego County.
Make a Plan
Develop a brief, simple plan of action that a senior can take in each of several different emergency scenarios. Simply getting a senior to a safe location as quickly as possible is critically important, and if he or she can do that on their own, their chances of riding out the emergency safely are greatly increased. Don’t depend on memory, though: make clearly printed instructions for the senior to refer to. Remembering an action plan in the midst of an emergency is difficult for anyone, and seniors most of all.
There are a number of emergency preparedness tips and resources for seniors in San Diego County at http://www.trustworthycare.com/resources/disaster-preparedness-resources. Browsing these resources can give you valuable details on preparation steps to take. An action plan, first aid kit and supplies, and a reliable method of communication can make a huge difference to a senior’s well being between the start of a widespread emergency and the arrival of care.