Raising Emergency Preparedness for Seniors

Raising Emergency Preparedness for Seniors

time icon 3 min read update icon Nov. 26, 2019


During an emergency such as a natural disaster, things can quickly become hectic. Seniors must develop an emergency preparedness plan to ensure their safety and wellness. In many cases, an elderly person, especially those with healthcare problems, cannot readily get around to prepare or evacuate quickly if necessary, so keep that in mind when developing your plan.


During an emergency, there is often very little time to prepare or evacuate. A senior must create a network of friends, family, neighbors, and personal assistants who can offer aid in the event of an emergency. Ideally, a senior should have at least three reliable individuals that they can reach if the need arises. Friends, family, caregivers,and the aging individual must work together to create an emergency preparedness kit.

How Seniors Should Prepare for an Emergency

When preparing for an emergency, there are four steps that every senior should take in advance to be ready for whatever natural disaster or tragedy may unfold. Although it may seem like a lot of work to prepare an emergency kit, it is a matter of life and death in many cases.

  1. Network: Create a system of people who will check on each other during an emergency. The network will help the senior feel less alone and afraid. Ideally, the support system should consist of at least four individuals; preferably more.
  2. Keys: Everyone in the emergency support network should exchange keys, so if a senior does not answer the door or respond to calls during a disaster, then one of the individuals from the safety net can use the key to enter the residence and check on the status of the senior.
  3. Paperwork: Everyone in the emergency safety network must share copies of important healthcare records and emergency contacts. Seniors should also make sure their caregivers and family members have copies of the paperwork.
  4. Build an Emergency Kit: Include flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food items, first aid kit, pliers, wrench, garbage bags, face masks, water, a lighter, and duct tape. Individual healthcare supplies should also be added as needed, such as prescription medications, catheters, oxygen, eyeglasses, and other healthcare items.

During an emergency, an aging individual must decide if they will be sheltering in place or evacuating. Everyone within the senior’s network must be notified of the senior’s plans.


In many parts of the country, natural disasters have become commonplace. Emergency preparedness is mandatory for all seniors to continue living a safe and independent lifestyle. Family, loved ones, and caregivers must all work with the senior to create a viable plan that helps ensure the older adult’s safety.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.