Before the disaster
- Tell your neighbors now if you may not move well or quickly in an emergency. Have a whistle or siren available to summon help in an emergency.
- Know where the safe places are in each room of your home, such as under a sturdy desk or table, in a doorway, or in the corner of an inside wall,
- Plan how you will get out of each room if the doorway is blocked. Arrange your furniture to allow a clear pathway.
- If you are vision-impaired, keep an extra cane as your guide dog may be injured or too frightened to help you. Don’t forget to store extra food and supplies for your dog.
- Keep your wheelchair, walker, cane and crutches near you and if possible, store extras in various locations. Family members should know where these items are stored.
- If you use any life support equipment, make sure it is fastened securely to prevent it from failing over. If the equipment runs on electricity, you may consider purchasing a portable generator.
- If you use any battery-operated equipment, have extra batteries. Also, store extra hearing aid batteries.
- Put security lights in various rooms in your home. These lights plug into the electrical wall outlets and light up automatically if there is a power failure. They can provide light for 4-6 hours.
- If you are hearing-impaired, install a fire and smoke alarm designed for the hearing impaired, A portable battery operated TV will allow access to instructions during an emergency. Have paper and pencils available to communicate with others.
- Purchase a whistle to alert others in case you need assistance.
During the disaster
- Move to one of the areas of safety mentioned previously.
- Stay away from tall, unsecured furniture, glass doors and windows, fireplaces and hanging objects,
- If you are in a wheelchair, stay in it. Move to a doorway, or other area of safety. Lock the wheels and cover your head with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
After the disaster
- Remain calm.
- If you are trapped inside, make as much noise as possible to attract attention to yourself. Use your whistle to alert others.
- If you have a guide or hearing dog, keep the dog confined or securely harnessed as it may become frightened and could run away.
PREPAREDNESS FOR OLDER ADULTS