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Emergency Preparedness for Older Pennsylvanians

In the event of an emergency, you may have to survive on your own for an extended period of time. For older Pennsylvanians this can present serious challenges, especially for people who need special care or services.

However, you can take control by planning in advance for a possible emergency. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan, you will be prepared for a disaster.

Get ready now by first downloading the 3-Step Pocket Guide (PDF) and this preparedness tool for older adults (PDF).

Get an emergency supply kit that includes enough provisions for you and your family to live on for a minimum of three days. Consider any special dietary needs you have and consider storing additional water.

Create a Support Network

  • Talk to family and friends about being part of your support network in case of an emergency.
  • Talk with local emergency management officials about the types and locations of shelters available to you. If you have special medical needs you may not be able to stay at the shelter closest to you.
  • Write down and share each aspect of your emergency plan with everyone in your support network.
  • Make sure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home or workplace and where you will go in case of a disaster.
  • Make sure that someone in your local network has an extra key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • Teach those who will help you how to use any lifesaving equipment or administer medicine in case of an emergency.
  • Practice your plan with those who have agreed to be part of your network.

Medications and Medical Supplies

  • If you take medicine or use a medical treatment or equipment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need to make it on your own for at least one week.
  • Make a list of prescription medicines including dosage, treatment and allergy information and keep it with your other emergency supplies.
  • Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you need to prepare.
  • If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment, or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.
  • Consider other personal needs such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen.

Emergency Documents

  • Include copies of important documents (such as family records, medical records, wills, deeds, etc.) in your emergency supply kit.
  • Have copies of your medical insurance and Medicare cards readily available.
  • Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices or other life-sustaining devices. Include operating information and instructions. Make sure that a friend or family member has copies of this information.
  • List the names and contact information of your support network, as well as your medical providers. If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
  • Keep these documents in a water proof container for quick and easy access.

Get Ready Now 3-Step Guide