September is National Preparedness Month, and AARP has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the American Red Cross, the National Organization on Disability and the National Fire Protection Association to provide some resources to help people prepare for a possible emergency.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than 84 million Americans are over age 50 and more than 54 million have disabilities.
According to a survey conducted for AARP by Harris Interactive, roughly 13 million people age 50 and older say they will need help to evacuate in a natural disaster, and about half will also require help from someone outside of their household.
Further, the report found that older adults face challenges that are different from the rest of the adult population, such as needing assistance with activities of daily living, continuous health support, life support, significant nursing care, custodial care or postoperative skilled care.
AARP is providing two brochures that offer older adults and disabled Americans simple preparedness steps they can adopt before emergencies occur.
The new materials, written specifically for older adults and those with special needs, recommend adding medicines, medical records, glasses, hearing aids and other special medical equipment, to their basic emergency supply kits.
Further, it is important that individuals develop an emergency plan tailored to their unique needs and a personal support network, which they can call upon in the event of an emergency.
To receive a copy of the brochure: "Dealing with Disasters: A consumer guide to help older adults prepare for disasters before they occur," visit www.aarp.org/katrina/.
To receive a copy of the brochure, "Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Special Needs. Get Ready" visit: www.ready.gov or call (800) BE-READY.