National Preparedness Month with the Utah Red Cross

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) It’s National Preparedness Month and with all the recent hurricanes and earthquakes, it’s a good time to get prepared. To help us prepare, Utah Red Cross volunteer Coralie Alder joined Good Morning Utah with Brian Carlson.

During a disaster, local officials and relief workers may not be able to reach everyone right away. This was the case in Florida during Hurricane Irma. Sadly, precious lives were lost.

Is it possible that lives could have been saved if the seniors had a preparedness plan? We can’t be certain, but what is important is understanding the unique needs of our seniors during a disaster.

The American Red Cross advices that seniors, in particular, create a support network to help them deal with disaster better by preparing in advance. The network should include family members, neighbors and friends as part of a team.

The Three Steps to Preparedness:

1. Get a Kit

2. Make a Plan

3. Be Informed

Unique to seniors:

1. Get a Kit

Assemble enough supplies to last for at least three days and have a disaster supplies kit packed and ready in one place before a disaster hits.

Store your supplies in one or more easy-to-carry containers. You may want to consider storing supplies in a container that has wheels. Be sure your bag has an ID tag.

· Pack a whistle, to attract attention of emergency personnel.

· Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers, that you would need with your name, address and phone numbers.

· Include up to a 7-day supply of your medications.

· Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)

· Family and friends’ emergency contact information

· Pet supplies (including food and vaccination records)

2. Make a Plan

· Explain your concerns to your family and others in your support network and work with them as a team to prepare.

· Arrange for someone to check on you at the time of a disaster.

· Keep support items like wheelchairs and walkers in a designated place so they can be found quickly.

· Plan the best and quickest escape routes out of your home and evacuation routes out of your neighborhood.

· Decide on a meeting place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home.

· If you or someone in your household uses a wheelchair, make sure all escape routes from your home are wheelchair accessible.

· Choose an out-of-town contact person. After a disaster, it is often easier to make a long-distance call than a local call from a disaster area.

· If you wear hearing aids or assistive devices, consider storing them in a bedside container that is attached to your nightstand using Velcro.

3. Be Informed

· Prepare for a hazard that is most likely to happen in your area.

· Ask about the emergency plans and procedures that exist in your community.

· Invite a Red Cross representative to present information about disaster preparedness. Call 801-323-7004 for more information.

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