When a natural disaster such as a wildfire or flood strikes, people are often forced to stay at home or evacuate immediately. It’s crucial to prepare yourself for an evacuation in advance. This preparation is particularly important for seniors, who may need extra assistance in evacuating from their residence.
“Vulnerable people, including seniors, need to have a solid plan for assistance and evacuation,” says Colin Swan, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator with Interior Health. ”Don’t rely on family or supports who live out of town. It needs to be a sure thing: someone who can drop everything to assist.
“Many people feel that they can make it on their own, but the reality is that the stress of the event, their own needs for care, and the collapsing timeline may overwhelm them and put them in a dangerous situation.”
“Caring for yourself and/or for a loved one can be hard - don’t let a natural disaster and evacuation add to this. Let’s be prepared,” adds Joanna Harrison, Executive Director of Seniors Specialized Care Services with Interior Health.
Read on to learn how seniors can prepare for a natural disaster or emergency evacuation. Some of the information listed below comes from Prepared BC, British Columbia’s emergency preparedness education program.