Disasters and emergencies can hit at any time, and as we learned from the recent hurricanes, floods, and fires, they wait for no one. In preparation for September’s National Emergency Preparedness Month, let’s talk about some specific ways that you can be prepared.
First, make a plan! Know which disasters could strike your area, and work through scenarios to prepare yourself in case of evacuation, or shelter in place. This way, you know what to do in either case. Colorado weather can be unpredictable- be sure to be prepared for hot summer months, a dry fall season, and heavy snow in both the winter and spring months. Wildfires, tornados, and flooding are not uncommon here in Colorado, so be sure to think through all of these types of emergencies.
Determine how and who you will communicate with if you have a specific need. We suggest developing a detailed emergency communication plan for you and your family. No longer drive? Determine who you can call for transportation help if it is necessary that you evacuate. It’s crucial to plan for your daily needs and to know what to do if they become limited or unavailable.
Another must-have… Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit. A great resource to start with is available via the link here. They even have a printable list to take with you to the grocery store. Must-have items include water, non-perishable food, radios, flashlights, first aid kits, and individual needs such as medicines, medical supplies, and essentials for pets and service animals. Don’t forget mobility devices, and to store important documents and like items together. An even better step would be to place them in a flood-safe place or in water-tight plastic bags. Include things like passports, birth certificates, insurance documents, and medical information. Remember, being organized is a great way to prevent panic during the time of an emergency or disaster.
Sign up for CodeRED & Access and Functional Needs Registry. Our friends at Douglas County’s Office of Emergency Management have great information listed on their website and two programs to help you stay safe in the event of a disaster or emergency. CodeRED is a service in which you are alerted by phone, email, and text about emergencies in your area. It also will provide you with instructions on what to do to protect life and property. Head over to their website here to sign up today!
Additionally, the Access and Function Needs Registry (AFN) is a database containing information about individuals in Douglas County who may require assistance in the event of a disaster. If you have special medical needs or physical disabilities that would make it difficult to follow public safety directions, please sign up today here!
As always, we’d be happy to help any older adult here in Douglas County create a plan that will keep them safe in the event of a disaster. Give us a call at (303) 814-4300 if this would be something that would benefit you or an older adult you know!
Kelsey Thiessen, Director of Operations at Aging Resources
Blogs are written by ARDC staff members