Disaster Preparedness: How to Prepare with Seniors in Mind

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 2/28/2022 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare

It’s been said that “Good things take time, but bad news comes quickly.”  Natural disasters like earthquakes, fires, and floods strike with little or no warning. Is the senior in your life prepared to survive a disaster of this magnitude?
To help ease your mind, we’ve put together some strategies you can follow to ensure the safety and security of your loved one.


Developing a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Your aging parent needs to be protected by a plan before a disaster strikes, not during or after. It will take some time and effort to prepare a plan, but the peace of mind you’ll have knowing your loved one is safe will make the time you invest well worth it.
Include these resources in your disaster preparedness plan:

Emergency preparedness kit

Your senior should have a portable kit in their home with a minimum 3-day supply of:

  • Nonperishable food
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Blankets
  • Medications
  • Transistor radio
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Extra house and car keys 
You can assist rescue workers by including copies of important documents, like a health conditions and medications list, birth certificate, and a list of family contacts. These documents should be placed in a lightweight waterproof bag.
This bag and all other items should be labeled and placed in waterproof duffel bags or containers on wheels.

List of local resources

Both you and your loved one should have the phone numbers and addresses of emergency resources in their community. Your list should include:
  • Shelters
  • Hospitals
  • Police
  • Fire department
  • Utility companies
  • Insurance agent

 Talk with your senior loved one about who to call in different scenarios, especially if communication between you and them gets cut off. And you’ll want to program the emergency phone numbers into their cellphone “contacts” list.

Escape Route

Talk with your senior about escape routes within their home, like during a fire. Have a rendezvous point that every family knows where your loved one can meet later, such as an emergency shelter. Family members should be programmed into the senior’s phone as “In Case of Emergency” contacts.

Personal emergency response system (PERS)

This is a wearable device used by seniors to call for help. It also allows emergency personnel to use GPS technology to track their whereabouts, even outside of the home. There are also apps available for many smartphones that will enable you to track the location of others.


Your loved one’s pet or service dog is also a member of the family that needs to be included in your disaster preparedness plan. Food, water, and medications should be packed, as well as their vaccination records. In addition, all animals should be wearing ID tags.
Interim Healthcare of GrantsPassOR understands the challenges we face in Josephine County when it comes to disasters. Our caregivers live here and are prepared to help your loved one if an emergency occurs while they’re providing care.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule your no-cost, no-obligation assessment. 

Need Help at Home?

Send us your questions about home care or a specific request. We're here to help.