EMERGENCY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

The forces of nature can reek havoc on a community, whether it be tornados, storms, blizzards, wildfires all of these can create a natural disaster. Other types of disasters can include communicable diseases, terrorist threats or other life threatening emergencies.
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EMERGENCY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Office of Public Affairs
(916) 323-2514

STATE AGING DIRECTOR URGES OLDER AND DISABLED CALIFORNIANS AND CAREGIVERS TO BE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCIES


PERSONAL NEEDS

  • Compile a list of medications, allergies, special equipment, names and numbers of doctors, pharmacists and family members, and emergency phone numbers (police, fire, ambulance). Keep this list with you at all times.

  • Include a spare pair of eyeglasses and extra medication in your emergency supplies, which should always be kept at your bedside.

  • Store extra batteries for hearing aids, wheelchairs and other battery-powered assistive devices with your emergency supplies.

  • Keep walking aids nearby at all times.

  • Install a security light in each room. These lights plug into any outlet and light up automatically if there is a loss of electricity. They operate automatically for four to six hours.

  • Keep a whistle on hand to signal for help.

  • Anchor special equipment, such as telephones and life support systems, and fasten tanks of gas, such as oxygen, to the wall.

  • Have a battery operated portable radio available for news and alerts.


HOME PREPAREDNESS

  • Prepare to be self-sufficient for at least three days with an emergency supply kit that includes water, any special dietary items, sanitary aids, cooking and eating utensils, flashlight, batteries, radio, blankets, prescription drugs, a change of clothing and a well-stocked first aid kit.

  • Securely anchor medical equipment, heavy appliances and bookcases. Move beds away from windows. Do not hang shelves or heavy objects over beds.

  • Identify the safest spot in each room of your home. Remove items from hallways, exits, doorways and other areas that may obstruct an exit or present a hazard.

  • Develop a plan on how and where to reunite if your family becomes separated. Conduct practice drills to prepare for an emergency.


IN THE EVENT OF A DISASTER

  • Stay away from heavy furniture, electrical appliances, large panes of glass, shelves with heavy objects, and fireplaces.

  • Listen to your portable radio for instructions and news reports.

  • In the event of an earthquake, prepare for aftershocks. If you are in bed or sitting down, do not stand up as you could be thrown to the floor.

  • If you evacuate, leave a message at your home about where you can be found.


NEIGHBORHOOD PREPAREDNESS

  • Identify neighbors who have special needs or may require special assistance.

  • Know the location of the nearest fire station, police station and hospital.

  • Organize a neighborhood emergency preparedness program.

  • Advance preparation can reduce fear and anxiety during any emergency, and will certainly help in the hours and days following an event.


In California, there are many organizations, services and resources that are available to help people prepare for an emergency. The California Office of Emergency Services' Website, www.caloes.ca.gov, contains safety checklists for all Californians. There are several important features on this site, including a special section with tips for the elderly and adults with disabilities. Additional information can be obtained by viewing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Website at www.ready.gov, or CDA's Website at www.aging.ca.gov.

Last Modified: October 20, 2003