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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Planning for the Needs of Older Adults

Disasters can be particularly disruptive to older adults and their caregivers. Chronic conditions that exist prior to an emergency can be exacerbated, equipment damaged or lost, and services or treatments interrupted, causing additional harm or stress. Find out what individuals, families, caregivers and communities can do to help protect the health and safety older adults before, during, and after a disaster.

  • Prepare for Emergencies:  Although everybody needs an emergency plan, older adults may have some additional needs.  Plan for Emergencies Now gives older adults a great quick-start guide to emergency preparedness and Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors provides a more in-depth look at special planning considerations.
  • Plan for Medical Concerns:  Some older adults have medical concerns that are relatively easily managed on a day–to-day basis, but can become a real problem during a disaster.  CDC has assembled resources to help address specific physical and mental health issues. 
  • Learn to Access Electronic Health Records with Blue Button:  Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. HHS provides an online tool intended to help people locate and access their electronic health records from a variety of sources.
  • Learn about Planning Considerations for Caregivers:  This webinar provides information for those who assist family caregivers in planning for emergencies and disasters. It includes guidance and examples for informing family caregivers on keeping themselves and their loved ones safe in a disaster or emergency by developing personal preparedness plans.

  • This page last reviewed: August 31, 2015