Preparing for an emergency

Last week’s deadly tornadoes are a somber reminder of how weather emergencies can impact us all at any time. Being prepared can be the difference of life and death in natural disaster situations. Older adults are especially vulnerable during and after disasters, often due to having chronic health conditions or mobility challenges. Are you and your loved ones prepared for a weather emergency or natural disaster?

Worrisome statistics

A poll, carried out by the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation with support from AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center, asked a national sample of more than 2,200 adults aged 50 to 80 questions about their readiness for several kinds of emergency situations. Findings included less than half were signed up for emergency warning systems in their community and less than a third have put together an emergency kit with essential supplies and medicines. Also worrisome, is only a quarter of the respondents who relied on electrical power to run health-related equipment had a backup power supply.

Make a plan

Older adults, their loved ones, and health care providers should take time to focus on key steps recommended by emergency preparedness professionals as well as plan for how they will cope and communicate in an emergency. Several suggestions are to have a 7-day supply of essential medications, a 7-day supply of food and water, signing up for local emergency alerts and talking with family or a friend about an evacuation plan.

You should also consider transportation and possibly needing to pay for a place to stay for at least a week. Financial readiness is key to being able to cover any kind of unexpected costs.

In our law practice at Hurley Elder Care Law, we discuss the importance of being prepared for age related situations. We concentrate on legal, financial and care needs. However, after the recent tornadoes in our surrounding states, we wanted to remind everyone to take these additional steps as part of your preparedness plan.

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