In order to be better prepared for any situation, you should plan ahead. This is especially true if you have any health or mobility considerations, affecting how you respond to an emergency. By evaluating your own individual needs and making an emergency plan that ﬁts those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. Plan now, so you are ready when the time comes.
When making an Emergency Plan for Seniors:
- Create a personal support network of family and friends who can help you in an emergency.
- Make sure that someone in your network has a key to your home and knows where you keep emergency supplies.
- Keep at least a week’s worth of medications on hand.
- Keep written copies of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and orders for medical equipment (including dosage, treatment and allergy information) in your emergency kit. Having electronic copies on a flash drive is also useful, the electronic format can help others who help you.
- If you undergo any regular medical treatments, or if you require home health care services, talk to your service provider(s) about their emergency plans.
- If you are dependent on electricity for a wheelchair or any life-sustaining device, contact Pepco’s customer care service center at 202-833-7500 to enroll in their Emergency Medical Equipment Notification Program and ensure that they have a current address and telephone number for you.
- Teach those who will help you in an emergency situation how to use any special equipment and administer any medicines requiring assistance, as needed.
- Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you need to prepare, including having extra doses of medication on hand in the event your pharmacy is closed due to an emergency.
- Make copies of important documents, including your health insurance and Medicare and Medicaid cards. Keep the copies in your Emergency Go Kit, along with the names and phone numbers of the people in your support network, physicians or specialists, and your emergency contact person or next of kin.
- Consider signing up for direct deposit of your Social Security benefits. Information is available at: ssa.gov/deposit. You can set up an online Social Security login at: ssa.gov/myaccount
- Keep emergency cash or travelers checks on hand.
- Make plans in advance for your pet or service animal’s health and safety whether you both stay at home, or proceed with evacuation (See: Plan for Pets).
- Talk to your neighbors and suggest that they make a plan as well – or involve them in yours!
- Fill up your car with fuel.
- Charge your cell phone so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.
- Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. If you have a cell phone, you can call, text, email or use social media. Consider buying a solar or battery powered phone charger.
- If you do not have a cell phone/smart phone you can use social media apps on personal devices such as game devices, Kindle or iPad, or if you have access to a computer, use an online registry such as the Red Cross “Safe and Well” website.
- Evacuate if told to do so by local authorities.