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Preparing for Disasters

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The recent disasters of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have the whole nation reeling from their effects. Disasters are always something that we cannot seem to plan enough for. One of the groups of people most affected by the storms are the elderly and disabled. There were problems with trying to evacuate them, and many were harmed because of this.


A hurricane might not be an immediate worry for those in the Denver area, but natural disasters can hit anywhere, including fires, tornados, and blizzards. Everyone needs to have a plan for what to do in a dangerous situation, and the elderly and disabled need to even more so. Here are some tips about how to prepare for a disaster because preparation can help immensely if one arises.


1. The most important thing is to make sure that you are prepared with enough water, flashlights, medical equipment and supplies, blankets, and non-perishable food to last for a few days.


2. Because getting to a safe place may take longer for an elderly or disabled person, keeping track of weather conditions ahead of time is important. If conditions look bad, it is better to be safe than sorry and head to a secure place rather than trying to wait anything out.


3. Emergency cash is also something that could be useful if conditions cause difficult access to ATMs or banks.


4. Always have a list of emergency contacts available and in an easy place for someone else to find. You never know what might happen, and if someone needs to get ahold of your emergency contact when you are not able to, they should not have to look too hard to find it.


5. Have places set up for you to go if conditions make it necessary. In the case of a tornado, have a shelter you can go to. If you need to evacuate, have a planned place to evacuate to.


6. Have a few people who are nearby and who know to help you immediately if a disaster makes it necessary. Make sure they know your disaster plan and will be ready to help you when the need arises.


7. If there are any hard to move medical devices you need, have a plan for how you will move them or how you will get by if you cannot. It might be best to discuss disaster plans with your doctor if you have this problem.


The most important thing is to have a plan ready. Go over every scenario you can think of and plan for that as well. It is never a bad idea to be over-prepared, and it is especially important for those who will have a harder time reacting to disasters.


For more information about being prepared for disasters, visit this webpage on the FEMA website:

https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2013/03/26/elderly-need-special-plans-be-ready-disaster

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