RCA CONSUMER ADVISORY: National Preparedness Month

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) is providing information regarding the Ready Campaign’s 2023 Preparedness Month theme “Take Control in 1,2,3” for September.  The campaign is focusing on preparing older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionally impacted by the all-hazard events, which continue to threaten the nation. Per the website https://www.ready.gov/september#2023 , older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas.

The Be Ready website offers some tips on things to keep in mind if there is a disaster, especially for older adults. The website offers that as an older adult, people may have specific needs and suggest taking some steps to be prepared.

Plan Ahead
  • Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation, and when to shelter in place. Also plan what you need to do in both cases.
  • Keep a NOAA Weather Radio turned to your local emergency station and monitor TV and radio for warnings about severe weather in your area.
  • Download the FEMA app and get weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
  • Plan how you will communicate if you have a communications need.
  • Plan for food, water and essentials for you and pets or service animals. Research pet-friendly evacuation centers.
  • Plan for your transportation if you need help evacuating.
  • Include items that meet your individual needs, such as medicines, medical supplies, batteries, and chargers, in your emergency supply kit.
  • Plan how you will have your assistive devices with you during an evacuation.
  • Make copies of Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance cards.

Make a Plan
  • Determine any special assistance you may need and include plans for that assistance in your emergency plan. You can visit the Be Ready’s page planning for people with disabilities  for more information.
  • Create a support network of family, friends and others who can assist you during an emergency. Make an emergency plan  and practice it with them.
  • Make sure at least one person in your support network has an extra key to your home, knows where you keep your emergency supplies, and knows how to use lifesaving equipment or administer medicine.
  • If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, find out their emergency plans and work with them to identify back-up service providers.
  • Don’t forget your pets or service animals. Not all shelters accept pets, so plan for alternatives. Consider asking loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area if they can help with your animals.
  • Get your benefits electronically. A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, important way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates stolen checks.

Date Issued: 9/11/2023