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Emergency preparedness for seniors

Thursday’s string of natural disasters, which caused destruction and tragedy in Japan, Hawaii and on the Western coast of the U.S., have raised prominent questions and concerns for friends, family members and caregivers of the elderly.  How can we keep our elderly loved ones safe when natural disasters occur? Here are some tips on preparing the elderly for emergencies:

Natural disasters

Although some disasters can be difficult to prepare for, it’s important to have a plan in place to escape to safety where your senior can notify you of what is happening. Knowing the steps to take in the event of flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, brush fires or earthquakes offers some piece of mind and will give your elderly loved one a sense of purpose during a time when they might otherwise not know what to do.

House fire

First and foremost, an escape route from every room in the house needs to be established and practiced routinely.  Check all exits frequently for repair and ensure they remain valid escape routes and devoid of clutter. A course of action to take after the fire also needs to be planned in advance. This includes having him or her get in touch with you and emergency response services as well as having a plan to put into place to deal with insurance and the aftermath of a fire.


While this is a very scary situation, it can happen to anyone at any time no matter how safe a neighborhood might be. Consider installing an alarm system in your senior’s home. Once installed, it’s important that he or she knows how to activate and deactivate the alarm and makes sure to set it regularly. Your senior should also have a plan for what to do if a break-in occurs while he or she is at home.

Having a plan for when disaster strikes seems like common sense but where seconds can make a life-changing difference, it’s important for seniors to have a well-rehearsed course of action. Contact your local FirstLight Home Care office to learn more the steps you can take to ensure your elderly loved one’s well-being in an emergency.

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