Disaster preparedness for senior citizens - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Disaster preparedness for senior citizens

Joanne Tate is honest with herself, and others, that if disaster were to strike, she would have some questions on how to survive a storm.

"Maybe I should have a bag packed? I don't have a plan," Tate says.

And Joanne isn't alone. The American Red Cross says senior citizens face unique, dire needs when disaster strikes.

Genice Grumpton with the American Red Cross says it's easy to forget, especially if it's been a while since a storm has been through your area.

"Sometimes you don't think of these things. But when it happens, you want to be prepared for it," says Grumpton.

There are a few steps you can take before storms hit, and that can save time, money and stress.

First, it is suggested that you get a kit together including any necessities you would need.

Mike Powers with the American Red Cross says, "You need to check on each other. Mobility is limited, transportation may be impacted. Have a five to seven-day supply of food and water and medicines for whatever your condition may be."

For Joanne - since she is diabetic - that would include a way to keep her insulin refrigerated.

So think about your plan. Where will you go? Possibly a friend's home or a shelter. And who will know where you're at? 

Powers says, "They need to have a support network, people to check on them in the event of a disaster."

The last thing - be informed. Make sure you have a way to stay up-to-date on closings, shelters and what kind of transportation is provided if you no longer drive. 

Tate says, "Knowing this will give me a chance to relax and be at peace about life."

Whether you're a senior or not, the Federal government has systems in place to help in the event of a disaster.

For more details, visit disasterassistance.gov.

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