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Elder Preparedness for Fire and Other Natural Disasters

By Chris Corpuz

Older adults, Fire Emergencies and Other Natural Disasters: How to prepare?


Fire season is upon us, and this season has taken many acres and lives. Don'y let yourself or a loved one become one of the unlucky. Educate yourself, caregivers and your elderly friends and family that may have additional challenges getting to safety.

Follow these simple and effective tips to prepare yourselves for the unlikely, but potentially deadly dangers that fire or natural disasters can bring.

Plan it out! Talk with family members and neighbors on what to do in case of emergency. How will we communicate? What are the group responsibilities? Individual responsibilities? Choose multiple meeting spots

1. Determine any special assistance you may need, and include this in the emergency plan.

  • If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, find out their emergency plans and work with them to identify back-up service providers.

  • If you have a communication-related disability, note the best way to communicate with you.

  • Don’t forget your pets or service animals. Not all shelters accept pets, so plan for alternatives. – Consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area – Prepare an emergency kit for your pet

  • For related information visit our page on Individuals with disabilities

2. Make a kit specific for the elders needs

  • Extra oxygen stores

  • Extra Medication

  • Personal hygiene

  • Extra clothes

  • Water/Food

3. Sign up to get local alerts

4. Get your benefits electronically. A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or sign up online

  • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper

Preparing for a natural disaster can feel overwhelming, but as the old adage goes; it's better to be safe than sorry, and when it comes to keeping our loved ones safe, there are no truer words.

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