In June, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the theme of National Preparedness Month (September) will focus on preparing older adults for disaster.
“With the Atlantic hurricane season now underway, it is imperative that we advocate for the well-being of our nation’s older adults and champion them as valued, honored, and respected members of our communities,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we now face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas. Through our Ready Campaign, FEMA is evolving the way we engage with communities to be more inclusive and impactful than ever before, which includes meeting older adults where they are and getting them the preparedness resources they need and deserve.”
According to the American Red Cross, there are several factors that make older adults more vulnerable after disasters including, but not limited to:
- a greater likelihood to suffer from chronic conditions and the need for associated medications
- a greater reliance on assistive devices such as walkers or glasses, as well as support from caregivers and others
- an increased likelihood of social isolation
In Colorado, we can experience the full range of disasters including fire and flooding. The Boulder Officer of Disaster Management is working to help everyone be prepared for the next disaster in our community. In addition to all the federal level online resources available at https://www.ready.gov/, our local partners hope to train and prepare hundreds of volunteers throughout our county. The Office of Disaster Management has created a Community Ambassador program that will provide the tools for you to talk to your neighbors, friends, colleagues, congregation, bowling league, men’s group-really any group of people about disaster preparedness.
To learn more about the program and to register for an upcoming program visit https://www.boulderoem.com/preparedness/