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Disaster Preparedness for the Aging Population Texas Conference on Aging May 9, 2012
“People…are still responsible for personal emergency preparedness. Our job is to make it achievable.” -Marcy Roth, Director, Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, FEMA
Really. We want you to. Take out the slides that provide guidance to emergency planners or those working with aging populations (hint: look for the blue border). Take out the hazards that do not apply to your area. Put your contact information on it. No sense reinventing the wheel.
Assess:What are you preparing for?Identifying the most likely hazardsIdentifying Individual Capacity and Limitations Questions to ConsiderPlan:How can people prepare themselves? Outreach, Make a Plan, Preparedness Kits
Assess: What are you preparing for? What are the potential hazards in your area?
Assess: Identify Individual Capacity and Limitations
Some questions to consider: • Do you live alone? • Is your home geographically isolated? • Can you drive? Do you own a car? • Do you rely on a caregiver or other services such as Meals On Wheels? • Do you have family or friends living nearby? Do you have family or friends that live in a place that will not experience the same hazards?
Some questions to consider: (cont.) • Do you have mobility issues or limitations? • Do you rely on supportive medical equipment? • Do you have cognitive limitations or trouble remembering things? • Do you have a hearing or vision loss? If so, do you use a hearing aid or wear corrective lenses? • Is your native language something other than English?
Plan: How do you help people prepare themselves? What you can do…
Outreach – How do you spread the message? Before an event During an event After an event
Outreach – Before An Event Where do the seniors in your service area gather? Congregate meals Churches/Synagogues/Mosques Adult Day Centers Libraries Community Centers ?
Outreach – Before An Event How else you can reach people? Meals on Wheels Fraternal Organizations (VFW, Shriners, etc.) Medical providers – both in office and home health Other caregivers CERT Teams
Outreach – Before An Event How else you can reach people? County Fairs/Craft Shows/Other Public Events Join with CERT teams to host a booth Share hand-outs Available from state and feds Create your own Give away basic items
Outreach – Before An Event Consider their trusted sources: Will they trust information coming from a government/religious/other source? Are there language and/or cultural barriers? Beware of those with the “I survived the last one” attitude
Outreach – Before an Event Tailor the message to the possible hazards of your specific area Try to let the audience do the work People will be more convinced by their peers! Be ready to talk about pets Bring props and/or giveaways Conclude with a call to action!
Outreach – During An Event How will you inform people during an emergency? Shelter-in-place Evacuation Other immediate concerns Transportation Lack of services
Outreach – During An Event How will you inform people during an emergency? Local news (television and radio) NOAA Weather Radio Reverse 911 Direct contact Registries
Outreach – During An Event Considerations if you choose to create a registry: How will you populate the list? Who will maintain it? How often will you update it? How will it be activated? Beware of privacy concerns when sharing information with external organizations.
Outreach – After An Event Do you plan to contact people after an emergency? What services are available When will other services are expected to become available Identify immediate needs
How can people prepare themselves? What to do…
Make a Plan Evaluate potential hazards Identify your network Decide what to do Put it in writing Share it!
Evaluate potential hazards Consider possibilities, but plan for probabilities. What hazards would require evacuation versus sheltering-in-place? Ask the places you frequent about their emergency plans.
Identify Your Network Family Friends Neighbors Caregivers People who attend your church/synagogue/mosque Case/social workers Others?
Identify Your Network Who will you call under what circumstances? Create a phone list: In case of _______, contact _______. Keep a copy in an accessible place for you and others who may come into your home. Keep a copy with you. Make sure that person knows they are your contact. Designate back-ups in case someone is unreachable.
Identify Your Network If you must evacuate, who are you meeting and where? Designate a meeting place Make a transportation plan Print maps/directions for multiple routes Plan for failure Practice!
Decide what to do: How Will You Get Your Information? In case of disaster, always follow instructions from emergency management officials! Plan for failure If relying on television news, have a battery-operated radio in case power fails Consider the source – not all sources are equally reliable
Decide what to do: How Will You Get Your Information? Make sure warning systems are in good repair. Replace smoke detector batteries twice a year Special smoke detectors can alert the deaf or blind Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector if you do not already have one Pre-program weather radios for your immediate area
Decide what to do How Will You Get Your Information? Is there a physiological barrier that impedes your ability to get and/or understand timely information? For example: Hearing Impairment Adaptive smoke detectors/other alarms Sticker for door Visor card Wallet card
Decide what to do: How Will You Get Your Information? What other barriers could exist? How can you overcome these?
What to do: Documents Have copies on hand Birth, marriage, death certificates Social security card, passport, driver’s license Immunization and other medical records, prescriptions Account numbers for bank and credit accounts Insurance policies, deeds, titles Health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid Store originals in safe-deposit box or other secure, water-proof location
What to do: Documents Consider hosting a “SCAN IT” day in your area Scan documents and either email to trusted family member or create a free account to store them digitally
What to do: Financial Arrange for direct deposit or pre-paid debits Social Security must be paid electronically starting March 1, 2013 Alternative is a Direct Express Card www.ssa.gov/deposit Consider making similar arrangements for other sources of income Veterans benefits Pensions Royalties Rental incomes Other sources
What to do: Financial Protect your credit Arrange for automatic withdrawal of major payments A disaster does not exempt you from making payments Mortgages Car loans Insurance Consider getting a locking mailbox or P.O. box If something that may contain personal information is late, contact the sender immediately. Do not assume delivery is delayed due to the disaster.
What to do: Financial Insurance Make sure you have the right amount and kind of coverage Flood insurance (and some other policies) must be purchased 30 days before an event to be valid Meet with your insurance provider to make sure you are adequately covered Keep additional copies of insurance policies in a safe location
What to do: Utilities Have a list of contact information for your utility providers in an accessible location Learn how to safely shut off water or gas If you are not physically capable of doing so yourself, learn where the shut-offs are located so you can direct someone else to them in case of an emergency. We recommend keeping flashlights and batteries on hand instead of candles due to fire risk.
What to do: Medical Always have at least a week’s supply of medications Have copies of prescriptions Get in the habit of wearing your medic-alert bracelet or necklace at all times Create a file that includes serial numbers and operating instructions for any assistive medical devices
What to do: “Go Kit” You may be directed to evacuate in a variety of situations Always follow the instructions of emergency management officials If you are ordered to evacuate, it is because they believe that your life may be in danger if you remain.
What to do: “Go Kit” Should be portable and accessible Consider using a duffle bag, backpack or plastic bin with wheels You must be able to lift and carry it Make sure it is labeled with your name and contact information
What to do: “Stuck Kit” You may be directed to shelter-in-place in a variety of situations. Sometimes it is best to stay put and avoid uncertain or dangerous conditions outside. In case of a disaster, be prepared to survive for at least 72 hours without assistance. A “Stuck Kit” should include all the items in your “Go Kit” plus more.