Prepare for an Emergency: Advice for Older Americans

Home  /  Caregivers  /  Prepare for an Emergency: Advice for Older Americans

On March 17, 2013, Posted by , In Caregivers, By ,, , With Comments Off on Prepare for an Emergency: Advice for Older Americans

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often

depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs

are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires

and floods to potential terrorist attacks. By evaluating your own personal needs and making

an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.

This guide outlines commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for

emergencies before they happen. Preparing makes sense for older Americans.


  1.  Get a Kit Of Emergency Supplies

The first step is to consider how an emergency might affect your individual needs. Plan

to make it on your own, for at least three days. It’s possible that you will not have access to a

medical facility or even a drugstore. It is crucial that you and your family think about what kinds

of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if those resources are limited or not available.  Basic Supplies: Think first about the basics for survival – food, water, clean air and any lifesustaining items you require. Consider two kits.  In one kit put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own for a period of time. The other kit should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to leave your home. Recommended basic emergency supplies include:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  •  Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener if kit contains canned food
  •  Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  •  First aid kit
  •  Whistle to signal for help
  •  Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Pet food, extra water and supplies for your pet or service animal

Include Medications and Medical Supplies:  If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on

a daily basis, be sure you have what you need on hand to make it on your own for at least a week.


  1.  Make a Plan For What You Will Do in an Emergency

The reality of a disaster situation is that you will likely not have access to everyday conveniences. To plan in advance, think through the details of your everyday life. If there are people who assist you on a daily basis, list who they are, and how you on a daily basis, list who they are and how you will contact them in an emergency. Create your own personal support network by identifying others who will help you in an emergency. Share your plan with your family, friends, care providers and others in your personal support network.

Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets and service animals. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you, if possible.

There may be conditions in which you will decide to get away, or there may be situations when you may be ordered to leave. Plan how you will get away and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Macomb or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

Comments are closed.