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Disaster Preparation During Older Americans Month

Our local Red Cross contact sent us the following information to get us ready for anything the summer may bring:

With all the rain leading to stupendous plant growth after years of drought, the Sonoma County Emergency Coordinator’s office is planning for what could be devastating fires, like the ones that devoured 20% of Lake County last year. You can get alerts on your phone (phone call, email or text), computer, or tablet (email) from SoCo Alerts, and you can also download the FEMA Mobile Disaster App (See below).

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May is Older Americans Month (sorry we are late!) and a great time to ensure you or any members of your household prepare for emergencies.

The first step is identifying what you, or older (or disabled) adults in your household may need to be prepared. Evaluate those needs, include them in your emergency plan, and add any necessary items to your emergency supply kit. The Ready Campaign recommends seniors consider the following measures:

*Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment. If appropriate, discuss your needs with your employer.

*Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.

*Keep written copies of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and orders for medical equipment, including dosage, treatment, and allergy information in your emergency kit.

*Make a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.

*Talk with your medical service providers about their emergency plans 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. Work with them to identify back-up service providers and incorporate them into your personal support network.

*Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other sources to store for your reference. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides an online tool intended to help people locate and access their electronic health records from a variety of sources.

*Coordinate with friends, family, or specialty transportation service providers in the event of a mandatory evacuation.

Find more information on preparedness for older Americans at www.ready.gov/seniors.

Gordon Medical also has resources for disaster and healthcare emergency preparation, much specifically focused on the ill, disabled, or elderly,  on our resources page.

Mobile FEMA Disaster App

FEMA disaster warning app
The FEMA app is your one-stop-shop with tools and tips to keep you safe before, during, and after disasters. Stay updated with weather-related alerts from the U.S. National Weather Service. Upload and share your disaster photos to help out emergency managers. Save a custom list of the items in your family’s emergency kit, as well as the places you will meet in case of an emergency. Get tips on what to do before, during, and after over 20 types of disasters. And locate open shelters and where to talk to FEMA in person at Disaster Recovery Centers. Terms of use: www.fema.gov/app.

Download the FEMA app for safety tips and @NWS weather alerts for up to five locations:  available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices.

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You can also download the app via text messaging:

  • If you have an Apple device: Text APPLE to 43362 (4FEMA)
  • If you have an Android device: Text ANDROID to 43362 (4FEMA)

If you use text messaging, standard message and data rates apply. Learn more about our text messages.