Today is September 1st, marking the beginning of National Preparedness Month. This year’s Ready.gov campaign’s theme for 2023 is timely: “Take Control in 1, 2, 3,” which spotlights preparing older adults for disasters – especially those in communities most impacted by all-hazard events.
It’s a known fact that older adults often face heightened risks during extreme weather events and emergencies, a vulnerability that escalates for those living alone, with a disability, in rural settings, or in financial constraints. And, with predictions from the U.S. Census Bureau indicating that by 2035, there will be more Americans over 65 than under 18, the need to educate and prepare this growing demographic is becoming increasingly crucial.
- Vulnerabilities of older adults: Extreme weather and emergencies present amplified threats to older adults, especially for those living alone, having low income, with disabilities, or in rural areas.
- Essential resources: Refer to Ready.gov’s web page for crucial messaging, graphics, and resources in both English and Spanish.
- Rising older population: The Census forecast indicates the older adult population will surpass the youth in the next 12 years underscores the urgency for this segment to recognize their risks and gear up appropriately.
How to “Take Control in 1, 2, 3”:
- Assess your needs. This includes understanding the role of medications, mobility or assistive devices, and pets in emergency situations.
- Make a plan. After understanding specific needs, it’s vital to craft a customized plan. This includes preparing kits with extra medication, storage methods for medicines during emergencies, and provisions for pets or service animals.
- Engage a support network. Active involvement of family, friends, and neighbors can provide essential backing during emergencies. Sharing emergency plans, and evacuation methods, and practicing them regularly can be lifesaving.
Throughout September, Tidal Basin is committed to keeping you informed and prepared. Stay tuned as we share essential information about emergency and disaster preparedness, for older adults and everyone. We encourage you to keep checking our website and follow our LinkedIn page for regular updates and helpful resources.