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How to Prepare Loved Ones for Severe Weather and Emergencies

May 6, 2019

From the nextavenue website

August 31, 2015 – click on photograph to enlarge

Floods, tornados, forest fires and hurricanes are equal-opportunity disasters that strike young and old alike.

Or are they?

Not according to Dr. Samir K. Sinha, a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and director of geriatrics for Toronto’s Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto. He says vulnerable older adults are disproportionately likely to suffer in natural disasters, in large part because they are more likely to face sensory, cognitive or mobility disabilities, social isolation and financial challenges.

Sinha is a co-chair of the Emergency/Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults project, an initiative by the American Red Cross and the American Academy of Nursing. The goal of the project is to help reduce the impact of disaster on older Americans. This summer, the group working on the project plans to publish a set of 25 evidence-based recommendations targeting everyone from health care professionals to policymakers to caregivers.

But you don’t have to wait until the report appears to help your older loved ones prepare for an emergency.

Here are four steps to do it:

Please note that here in Hawai‘i, we need to stock water and supplies for at least 14 days. Most government websites recommend 3 days, and that is a reasonable supply if you live on the continental United States. Hawai‘i remains dependent on container ships that take a minimum of 7 days to get to Hawai‘i from Oakland or Los Angeles.

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