Preparing for the Unexpected: Emergency Preparedness Tips for Seniors

It’s hard to watch the news these days, isn’t it? Stories of natural disasters and the victims of the devastation left behind seem to make the headlines almost daily. Your heart just breaks for the people who lose their homes and for those who suffer injuries, or worse. It teaches you just how quickly life can change and how emergencies can develop in a matter of minutes.

Seniors living at home face even more dangerous situations when emergencies occur because of possible health conditions and limited mobility or transportation options. Helping seniors prepare for emergencies is something our country takes very seriously, as FEMA, the CDC, the National Institute on Aging, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and state organizations, have all created guidelines for disaster preparedness for seniors. 

Because we here at TimeWise Concierge have been helping you prepare for the inevitable for over 20 years, we understand the importance of preparation, and we would like to help you prepare for emergencies, too. Whether you’re safest facing the disaster in your home, or need to evacuate, we want to help you be prepared for what emergencies may come your way.

Preparing for natural disasters

Tips for Sheltering in Place

There are some emergencies in which it is safest for you to stay in your home. Tornados, for example, are natural disasters during which you usually shelter in place. Here are some tips to help you prepare for sheltering at home:

  • Make a list of your medications, allergies, doctors’ names and contact numbers, and any other pertinent medical information about your health conditions.


  • Make two copies of this list, your IDs and medical cards, and important documents, such as your Will and Power of Attorney. Get two waterproof bags and place a set of each of these copies in the bags. 

  • Fill a storage bin with what you need to stay safe in an emergency. Some items to include in this emergency kit include:
  • Non-perishable food (cans) to last for three days and a can opener.
  • A gallon of water per person in the house for three days.
  • First aid kit.
  • Flashlight and batteries.
  • Hand sanitizer, soap, and personal care products.
  • One of the waterproof bags containing copies of your healthcare information and important papers.
  • Blankets, clothing, and shoes.
  • Extra hearing aid batteries, glasses, canes, and other personal devices or equipment.
  • Cell phone and charger.


  • Share the location of the storage bin with everyone in your home and any family or friends who might help during an emergency.


  • Talk with your family about the best place in your home to shelter when facing a natural disaster.  You should also decide where to meet outside the house if an emergency occurs inside your home, such as a fire. If you live by yourself, decide where your safe place is and then let neighbors and friends know your plan.


  • Make a list of important phone numbers and keep it in a handy place, like on your refrigerator or taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet. Include family, friends, doctors, and local emergency relief organizations.


  • Reach out to your neighbors and loved ones and set up an emergency network of people who you can turn to during a crisis. Have a plan for who you can contact for help and who will check on you if a natural disaster hits, especially if you live alone.

It is a little scary to think about what might happen if disaster strikes. You might think that it won’t happen to you because your city has been spared from the brute forces of Mother Nature for years. But that is the catch about emergencies – you never know when they will happen. It’s better to have an emergency kit and a network in place and never need them than to suffer through the aftereffects of an earthquake with no power, no food, and no water, because you didn’t think it would ever happen, and you didn’t prepare.


One more tip for sheltering in place, and this one applies to the natural disasters we have time to hunker down for, such as snow storms. 


  • Stock up on medical supplies. For instance, if you are on oxygen, make sure you have enough to weather the storm and that it is from a source that doesn’t require electricity in case you lose power. Make sure to touch base with your medical professionals so you have enough insulin or medications to last for the predicted storm.


We all know that weather forecasts can be wrong, and some storms don’t turn out to be as severe as predicted. Still, it’s smart to prepare for the worst, because as the old saying goes, better safe than sorry!

Tips for Emergency Evacuation

As much as you don’t want to, sometimes you need to leave your home to stay safe. Maybe it is because of a hurricane heading for your town, or a flood warning. This can be a very stressful time; the better you prepare for it, the easier your evacuation will go. Here are some tips to ease the stress:


  • Pack a bag of clothing in case you need to leave in a hurry. It could be a duffel bag or a backpack. Make sure to include a pair of comfortable shoes. You should also pack personal hygiene products like toothpaste and deodorant, a blanket, a first aid kit, a cell phone charger, and a small amount of cash. 


  • Place the 2nd waterproof bag holding copies of your medical information and important papers in the duffel bag or backpack. This helps minimize the stress you might feel when gathering all this critical information while trying to evacuate. Store your packed bag in a closet.


  • Decide where you can go to be safe during the emergency. Contact friends and family and make a plan for where to go if you need to leave home.


  • Plan transportation for an evacuation. If you own a car, you can keep extra blankets, a first aid kit, and water in your trunk. This cuts down on what you need to pack in your duffel bag. If you don’t own a car, arrange to ride with a neighbor, friend, or relative. This is very important to prepare ahead of time because you don’t want to worry about how you are going to evacuate if the mandatory order is given. If you need help securing transportation, contact your local first responders for resources. 


During any natural disaster, it’s important to listen to the local news so you can be informed about the situation. It’s also a great idea to check on others and make sure your neighbors, relatives, and friends are okay.


There is one more very important factor to consider when planning for emergencies – your pets! Depending on what kinds you have, you may need to arrange special transportation when evacuating. If possible, include some non-perishable food and any other items you may need to care for them in your emergency kits. 

How TimeWise Concierge Can Help

More than anything, we want you to be safe. We can help you complete any of the steps to prepare for the unexpected and become emergency-ready. If you need assistance putting together an emergency bin or evacuation duffel bag, please contact us today.

Share This