Build a support network. Plan for family, friends and neighbours to check on each other after an emergency. Phones may not work, so arrange this between people who live near one another.
If you need home-based care or regular medical treatments, include service providers when developing your plan. Become familiar with their emergency plans.
Keep a list of your medicines, allergies and your special equipment.
Include the name, address, and telephone number of your doctor, pharmacist, family members, clergy or special friends. Take this list with you if you must leave home after an emergency.
Falling objects pose one of the greatest hazards in an earthquake. Older adults may not be able to quickly get under a table or desk for protection. Get rid of hazards in the home that could fall and cause injury. If you can’t do this yourself, ask a friend or family member for help.
Keep a seven-day supply of emergency food and water. Have a well-stocked first-aid kit, an extra pair of glasses, flashlight and batteries, portable radio and essential medicine (take note of the expiry date).
Many older adults have special needs. The following can keep you safer in an earthquake:
- If your life support equipment requires electricity, buy an emergency generator. It is important to know how to properly operate and fuel it.
- If you use oxygen, have someone secure the tank to prevent it from tipping. If you use a wheelchair or walking aids, keep them near you at all times. If possible, have extra walking aids in different places in your home.
- Place a battery-operated nightlight in each room. Ensure that they will stay on four to six hours in a power outage.
- Have a whistle or horn to signal for help.
- If you use battery-operated equipment, store extra batteries and replace them when they reach their shelf life.
- If you use a wheelchair know if it can be easily transported and how to fold it.
- If you use a motorized mobility aid, store a lightweight, manual wheelchair as a possible backup.