Survey: Opportunities for TN Older Adults to Increase Disaster Preparedness
Friday, September 8, 2023
September is National Preparedness Month, when AARP raises awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies.
A recent survey found most older adults are not prepared to respond quickly in the event of a natural disaster, which can strike with little warning. AARP Tennessee said fewer than one-third of people surveyed have created a comprehensive emergency plan for natural disasters.
Tom Kamber, executive director of Older Adults Technology Services for AARP, said the organization provides online resources for Tennesseans to access ahead of an emergency or natural disaster.
"There is a quiz at the top of the page that we put together, and in just a few minutes, it will allow you to answer some questions around your own preparedness for disaster and what you've got in place and what you might need in place," Kamber explained. "Right there, you're going to be able to find links to the FEMA website with their apps."
Kamber stressed it is important to sign up for online alerts to get accurate information during an emergency. He recommended buying a car phone charger as a backup in case the power goes out at home. He also suggested putting emergency contacts in your phone, downloading your bank's smartphone app, and creating copies of important documents you can access online.
Kamber added given the unpredictability of extreme weather events, it is important for everyone to have some level of disaster preparedness, and recommends discussing a plan with friends, family, neighbors or caregivers before a disaster strikes.
"It also sets up questions," Kamber noted. "For example, who is going to be your in case of emergency contact in your phone? If you do have to relocate in an emergency, is there somebody who you've already identified where you can go and stay? What are you going to do with your pets? Do they have GPS trackers?"
Throughout September, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency is educating the public on the importance of emergency preparedness topics including how to make a plan, build an emergency kit and stay informed about risks in the area.
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