OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 22, 2023
National Preparedness Month Serves as a Reminder About the Importance of Helping Older Adults
OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to preparing for a natural disaster or emergency don't forget some of the most important people in your life. Senior citizens, people like your grandparents or an elderly neighbor, can use a helping hand to get ready.
PG&E's Safety Action Center has a toolkit for seniors and their caregivers to help prepare for an emergency. The Safety Action Center (safetyactioncenter.pge.com) is PG&E's online preparedness resource, which provides information to help customers keep their families, homes and businesses safe during natural disasters and other emergencies. On the site, you'll find preparedness tips for seniors, including those with access and functional needs.
"We know older adults are more vulnerable after a disaster or emergency. That's why it's so important to get ready before something happens," said Angie Gibson, Vice President of Emergency Preparedness and Response at PG&E. "We urge our older customers and those who love them to take advantage of the available resources to make an emergency plan and build an emergency supply kit."
September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has called out preparing older adults and their caregivers before a disaster or emergency strikes as a key action to take.
""We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we now face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas," said Administrator Deanne Criswell. "We are also underscoring the importance of involving caregivers in these conversations, as they are instrumental in our efforts to help this vital community before, during and after disasters."
Keys to Senior Emergency Planning
Here are some steps seniors and their caregivers can take to be prepared:
- Plan Escape Routes from your home, keeping your accessibility challenges top of mind.
- Implement a buddy system or phone tree with family, neighbors and friends to check in on you and other seniors during emergencies or other natural disasters.
- If you rely on electricity for a medical device, pre-charge your device, consider backup power options, and keep ice packs and a cooler ready for any medications that require refrigeration.
- Practice opening your garage door manually in case you lose power.
- Pack your emergency supply kit and remember to re-stock every six to 12 months. Don't forget about your medications.
- Practice, practice, practice with every member of your family and caregivers.
PG&E and its partners have several programs in place to help older adults.
- The Medical Baseline Program is an assistance program for residential customers who depend on power for certain medical needs. Learn more in a short video. Customers interested in the program will find eligibility and application details on this page.
- PG&E partners with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers to support older adults and people with disabilities via the Disability Disaster Access & Resources program. This support is available before, during and after Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and other wildfire safety power outages. Here's a video showing how the program has helped a PG&E customer maintain her hearing.
More resources are available
- FEMA. Visit Ready.gov/older-adults for more information, tips and this toolkit with more information on how to seniors and their caregivers can prepare for an emergency.
- Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. In partnership with FEMA, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers has resources for to promote the health, strength and safety of caregivers.
- Call 211 for other resources available in your county.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG, Financial), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
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SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company