AARP Offers Tips for Older New Yorkers to Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Oct 28, 2012, 09:38 ET from AARP New York

Older Adults More Vulnerable During Disasters, Assoc. Provides Tips to Help Elderly & Their Families Be Storm Ready

NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the prospect of Hurricane Sandy becoming one of the worst storms to hit the New York area, it's time for New Yorkers, particularly the elderly, to assess their readiness for the storm.  Older adults are particularly vulnerable in an emergency and should take advance action to be as prepared as possible should they be without water, electricity, or need to evacuate their home.

The key to maintaining your health, safety and comfort during a disaster – whether it's a big or small disaster – is to plan ahead. But how do you know if you're really prepared for an emergency? Maybe you already have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at home, along with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and some flashlights.

Here are some straightforward — and relatively simple — steps to review your emergency preparedness and get ready for Sandy.

  1. Take an inventory of the contents of your home and take photos or videos of the exterior and interior. Keep them in a safe location off the premises.
  2. Talk with your family members and neighbors about how to reconnect, with contact numbers and a place to meet if you must evacuate or flee.
  3. Place copies of vital documents and records (like personal identification, bank statements, wills, prescriptions, Social Security and health insurance cards, and important phone numbers) in a weatherproof container that you can grab as you run out the door. You can use an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
  4. Buy a battery-operated radio and have flashlights with extra batteries easily accessible. Have other emergency supplies ready – a change of clothing, prescriptions, extra glasses, cash, water, food, blankets, whistle and face mask.
  5. Put an emergency checklist near the door to make sure you don't forget anything.
  6. If you are a caregiver of an older adult – help them prepare and think about medications that may require refrigeration.  Insulin can be kept at room temperature for 30 days.  For medications that must be kept cold, keep ice or frozen cold packs in the freezer and a small ice chest handy.
  7. Be sure you have enough medication on hand and consider putting a pill splitter and any other medical supplies like syringes in your emergency to-go bag.

After you've completed the checklist for your home, do some extra good by helping a friend or neighbor prepare for an emergency. A disabled, homebound or infirm person probably can't do all of these things and may be reluctant to ask for help. To learn more about disaster preparedness and for the latest updates on Hurricane Sandy in New York, visit

AARP has over 2.7 million members in New York.

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