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Helping Elders Prepare for Emergencies
The recent tragic events following Hurricane Harvey in Texas have reminded us that that disaster can strike at any time.  If you have older loved ones, it is important to make sure that they are prepared for emergency situations.  Make sure that you and your loved ones have the following documents in a secure location:
  1. Copies of all identification papers, including driver licenses, passports and social security cards.
  2. Medical records, including doctors’ names and phone numbers, pharmacy name, number and address, and copies of prescriptions, as well as at least a two week’s supply of any needed medications.
  3. Insurance and financial documents, including policies, property and insurance and records. Be sure to bring your health insurance card as well.
  4. Phone numbers for family members, friends, neighbors, as well as out of town contacts.
You should also have a preparedness kit, which should include:
  • Two Weeks supply of medications
  • One gallon of water person per day
  • Food supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio or a Weather Radio, batteries
  • Flashlight, disc lights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to localize heat in one room
  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags for personal sanitation
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Hand warmers, blankets
  • Cell phone with solar charger
You should also consider the medical needs of your older loved ones, for example, is your older loved on on oxygen?  Do they need glucose tabs? Considering their medical conditions and preparing accordingly is very important.
In the event of needing to leave the home, bring:
  • Medications
  • Oxygen
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids and extra batteries
  • Assistive technologies
Smart911 is free service that every family should register online for –  It is a way to provide lifesaving information directly to 9-1-1 and first responders in an emergency.  You set up a secure profile online that is only accessed in case of emergency.  You can include information on all family members, medical information, pets, service animals, livestock, vehicles, property details, etc. 
When disaster strikes, our vulnerable population can often be the most impacted.  Preparing in advance using these tips can help keep your older loved ones safer.
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