Seniors: Preparing for Looming Disasters

Mar 21st, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The frequency of recent international disasters suggests the need for preparation. Preparation, however, does not equate with panic. There are sources of information which promulgate all forms of hysteria and a false sense of overreacting. There is no gain in this kind of response, it only adds the dimension of unresonable and irrational behavior and actions. Thoughtful planning is a better alternative, and I recommend it.

In many cases, such as crises as in Japan, the ability of seniors from other countries to respond with any ability to be helpful may be limited to donations to legitimate caring agencies, e.g. the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and other sectarian organizations that have been vetted and proven credible.  Be sure to make your contribution when and where you are able.

You may find some additional suggestions helpful:

  • If you are living in an area where you might be directly affected by a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, flood or other natural disaster, create your own preparedness plan.  These include stocking your pantry, having a full tank of gas, having an ample drinking water supply, being equipped with alternative heat and lighting, clothes/blankets/daily living supplies all need to be considered.  Most weather related disasters come with sudden force and leave little latitude for major prepartions. Having an escape route previously planned is useful for trying to get out of the path of an impending event, or being able to survive after it hits.
  • Today, many disasters come with such little notice and terrible force that having a plan for being able to be in touch with your own family may not be possible. So it behooves you to create a plan in advance.  Determine with your loved ones how you will be in touch with them if a disaster hits them or you.  Cell phone call?  Internet communication?  Intermediary willing to pass information along?  Figure out what will work for you.  If time permits, it is useful to have a plan to meet up at a previously agreed location, out of the way of the storm.
  • Before a disaster strikes, having made arrangements for adequate insurance coverage, a safe place to try to escape the brunt of the storm or whatever its origin, an understanding with children and older adults in the household as to a course of action should be clarified.  Everyone in the household should know where they go, and what they take with them, should a natural disaster strike.

Your own need to prepare may have unique circumstances, depending upon where you live and what the history is for previously experienced disasters. Being aware of the seasonal or geographic dangers will inform your own need for specific and strategic readiness.

A preliminary rule to abide by is: Do not assume it (the worst) can’t happen to you.  It can, and it might.  Be prepared.



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