National Preparedness Month Focuses on Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults

September is National Preparedness Month. The goal of this month is to encourage individuals, families and communities to take proactive steps in preparing for various emergencies and disasters. House fires, tornadoes, winter weather and power outages are just a few emergencies that can affect Hoosiers.

Each member of your family needs to know their role and what to do for each emergency. That includes the older members of your family. The focus of 2023’s National Preparedness Month is preparing for older adults.

“Just like every member of your family, older adults face great risks when it comes to emergencies, especially if they are living alone, have a disability or live in rural areas. We need to check in on our family members and neighbors before, during and after a crisis to make sure they have the support they need,” said IDHS Emergency Management and Preparedness Director Mary Moran.

This focus underscores the necessity of creating inclusive emergency plans that consider factors like mobility challenges, medical needs and social isolation, which can significantly impact the well-being of older individuals during crises.

Tips for planning for elderly adults in an emergency include:

  • Plan how you will communicate with older adults if you have a communications need.
  • Plan for food, water and essentials they will need.
  • Plan ahead for transportation if they need help evacuating.
  • Include items that meet their individual needs, such as medicines, medical supplies, batteries and chargers, in their emergency supply kit.

You can learn more about creating emergency kits and plans on the Get Prepared webpage.