How to Prepare an Older Person for a Long-Term Disaster


Medication. Shelter. Heat. Food. The water. Transport.

Sometimes the things you need the most during a long-term disaster are often the hardest to get.

Yet, as a caregiver, preparing for the effects of such a disaster is crucial to ensuring that you and your loved one stay safe, healthy and comfortable no matter what.


For millions of Americans on prescription drugs, their next refill is just as vital as their next meal. But what do you do when medicine isn’t just a phone call or a click away? Here are two ways to “store” your prescription medications to prepare for disaster:

  • First refills: The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy allows pharmacists to refill uncontrolled medication seven days before a 30-day supply runs out and 21 days before a 90-day supply runs out. So if you refill these prescriptions at the beginning of each month, it will only take you six months to accumulate an additional six-week supply and one year to accumulate an additional three-month supply. However, check with your pharmacy and insurance, as sometimes restrictions apply.
  • Pay for additional prescriptions: Another way to store drugs is to pay for additional prescriptions. Ask your provider to write out a backup prescription that can be used in an emergency. Your insurance plan may not pay for this, but discount drug programs may be a feasible and affordable option. Also, it’s worth trying to call your insurance company to inquire about coverage for an additional top-up; some health plans have an “emergency exception” for these renewals.

Shelter, warmth and light

Shelter, warmth and light are essential during a long-term emergency when you lose access to electricity, food or water. Take inventory of your home or that of your loved one to ensure you have access to some important items that will allow you to maintain shelter, heat and light during a long-term power outage. .

Portable Generator – A portable generator keeps essential appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and medical equipment running, as well as gadgets such as computers, telephones and televisions to provide emergency contact while you are on your own. squat.

Surge protector – During power outages, it is common for the power grid to flash, which means the voltage drops or rises during this time. A surge protector protects your appliances and electronics from the havoc this yo-yo effect can wreak.

Uninterruptible Power Supply – Think of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) as a surge protection “generator” or surge protector with built-in battery backup. A good UPS can keep your computer running for a few minutes after a power outage, giving you valuable time to safely save your work and shut down your computer.

Power Bank – A good power bank can extend the life of a phone and sometimes a laptop (depending on the model), providing vital information or services in an emergency during an emergency. breakdown.

Other must-have items:

And don’t forget that an old-fashioned fire is still a reliable way to keep warm. These lighters and fire starters make starting a fire easy and safe. Don’t forget to include a fire extinguisher.


Disaster experts recommend a minimum collection of non-perishable food and water for an emergency survival kit: at least three days worth of food per person in the household and one gallon of bottled water per person per day for three days.

Preparing vehicles in advance

Have a plan in place if you need to evacuate and have your car ready to go before disaster strikes.

Start by putting an emergency kit in your car. This kit should include a standard tool kit, car jack, pin wrench, jumper cables and flashlight. Too, always include a cell phone charger that can plug into your car’s cigarette lighter somewhere in the car.

Other preparations

  • Protect your important documents: Make sure you have critical documents protected in the event of a long-term disaster, such as a safe, external drive or in the cloud. Better yet, make copies and store them in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Stock up on personal care and hygiene: Depending on your needs, you may also need to include items such as spare contacts, emergency spare glasses, contact lens solution, contact cases, and eye drops. Also, if you have young children, diapers, baby wipes and other childcare items are essential.
  • Stock up on pet care: Stock up on at least a month’s supply of pet food and any pet medication.
  • Entertainment: Stock up on books, board games, cards, art supplies, writing supplies, and other things to keep you and your companions busy.

Disaster preparedness is an ever-evolving front. Thus, new technologies, ideas and recommendations are continuously released, especially in light of recent current events. The FEMA app (Android/iOS) and American Red Cross app (Android/iOS) are easy ways to stay connected with the latest updates in your area.

Also, keep an eye out for sites like and the American Red Cross to make sure you and your loved one are ready for anything.

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