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Five Steps to Create an Emergency Disaster Plan for Older Adults

Five Steps to Create an Emergency Disaster Plan for Older Adults

Do It Now!

Learn the Five Important Steps to Make an Emergency Plan for Older Adults

Balance Problems in Seniors

five steps to create an emergency disaster plan for older adults

It is more important than ever to be prepared for the different types of disasters that can occur on our beautiful island.

If you are an Older Adult, Caregiver or have Seniors in your ‘ohana  –  Be Prepared in case of a Hurricane, Tsunami, Flooding or Wildfire. 

Take a Look at the 5 Steps Below to Help You Create Your Emergency Disaster Plan!
Overview of the 5 Important Steps to Stay Informed & Make a Plan:

1-   How to Get Emergency Alert & Warnings

2-   Create a ‘Family/Friends’ Communication Plan

3-   Create a Shelter in Place Plan

4-   Create an Evacuation Plan

Below, we have streamlined the wealth of information available and added Live Links for your use. 

Let’s Take A Closer Look  So You Can Be Proactive and Plan Ahead!

learn the five steps to create an emergency disaster plan for older adults

five steps to create an emergency disaster plan for older adults

Five Steps to Create Your Emergency Preparedness Plan


Step 1 – Be Informed – Emergency Alert & Warnings:

    • Know the Various Types of Emergencies for Maui.

It is important to be prepared for the the types of disasters that can occur on Maui: Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Flooding and Wildfires.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is a great resource. Use the 2 Live Links below:

 – MEMA Hurricane Information, Flood Maps & Preparedness Tips: Hurricane Information & Preparedness Tips | Maui County, HI – Official Website

– MEMA Tsunami & Flood Hazard Zones: Flood Hazard Zones | Maui County, HI – Official Website

    • Sign up for Alerts & Warnings.

– NOAA Weather Radio:

This is one of the most important preparedness tools you can have in your home or workplace – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio.

This is an All Hazards network that continuously broadcasts weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office.

Weather Radio will wake you with a loud alert tone when a warning is issued for your area so you can take appropriate action.

The radio program broadcasts on these frequencies: 162.400 (channel 1), 162.450 (channel 3), and 162.550 (channel 7) in the Hawaiian Islands.

Weather radios can be purchased at local electronics stores, mail order catalogs and various other locations

– Emergency Alerts & Severe Weather Warnings:

          1. Sign up for MEMA Alerts:Sign Up Here – Maui Alerts
          2. Listen to local radio stations or Check official announcements on social media.


Step 2 – Create a Communication Plan:

Plan how to reach your family, support group and important emergency contacts. Be sure to share information including phones, work phones, school phones, caregivers’ phones, etc.

    • Make an Emergency Contact List

– Create Contact Cards or a List and be sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet.

Fill Out the Wallet Cards in the back of the Maui Emergency Preparedness WorkbookMauiReady-Preparedness-Plan-Workbook (

    • Identify out-of-town contacts.  Assign a single point of contact such as a friend or family member outside of your community or state to help your household reconnect.

– Share contact information with everyone and keep it updated.

– Text is best!  If you are using a mobile phone, a text message may get through when a phone call will not. Text messages may also be buffered and sent when capacity becomes available.


Step 3- Create a Shelter-in-Place Plan:

Decide on the safest place in your home for protection from high winds or contaminated air. Pick a small, interior, windowless room like a closet or bathroom on the lowest level of your home.


Step 4- Create an Evacuation Plan – Older Adults or Special Needs:

Anyone who is disabled, ill, not as strong as they used to be, or has dementia will require more time for evacuating. This includes people who have difficulty walking, seeing, breathing, understanding, learning, or responding quickly.

    • If you live alone and need extra help. Create a plan with a neighbor or friend who lives close to you so they can help get you out of the house and evacuated in an emergency.
    • Pick family meeting places that are familiar and easy to find. Decide where you would go and the route you would take to get there. Use a hotel/motel, a friend or family’s home that is safe, or an evacuation shelter. Create multiple evacuation routes from your home to theirs.
    • In case of fire or other home emergency – Create an Exit Plan and map your home. Draw two ways to escape from every room. Consider escape ladders for rooms on an upper floor.
    • If you live in a multi-story building. Map Escape routes to exit stairways. Select a meeting location in a safe location away from the house or building.
    • Transportation. Always keep a half tank of gas in your vehicle for unexpected evacuations. If you have advance notice that an evacuation is likely, fill the tank full of gas.
    • Power/Electrical Needs: If you require power to operate medical devices or keep medicines cold, make a back-up plan.
    • Dementia & Evacuations: A person with dementia may become anxious, be as calm and supportive as possible.

– Be sensitive to your tone and their emotions.

– Stay close, reassure them, do not leave them alone, and prepare to prevent wandering.

– Make sure they wear an ID bracelet and Identification Tags are sewn into clothes.

– Pack familiar, comforting items for them to help stay calm, like a household pet or their favorite music with earphones to block out noise. Noisy or chaotic places can be anxiety triggers.

    • More Information — Planning & Useful Tools:

Click on the Live Links below:

– Senior Emergency Preparedness:

Alzheimer’s Association Disaster Preparedness:

– Emergency Prep Checklist for Caregivers:


Step 5- Create your Survival or “Go” Kits:

Keep Survival or Go Kits stocked, ready, easily accessible. All family members should know where they are kept!

Major disasters can disrupt water, electricity, phone and gas services — You may need to survive on your own for several days if roads are closed due to a storm, landslide, flooding, fire or other damage.

Use a sturdy waterproof bag, backpack or other container to hold your kit items. A Go Kit should include food, water and basic supplies for a minimum of 3 – 5 days.

– Survival / Evacuation Kits should include:

      • Battery powered radio and/or NOAA weather radio
      • Cell phones, laptops, radios, earphones, chargers, solar charger or back up batteries
      • Flashlight(s), head lamps
      • Whistles to signal for help
      • Extra batteries
      • Candles
      • Matches or lighters (waterproof)
      • First aid kit
      • Fire extinguisher
      • Can opener
      • Canned or dried goods (at least 7 days of non-perishable food)
      • Water – 1 gallon per person per day
      • Tea, coffee, juices
      • Blankets / sleeping bags
      • Extra clothes, including long sleeve shirt and jacket
      • Paper and pencils/pens
      • Soap, hand sanitizer, wipes
      • Personal items – toothbrush, etc.
      • Facial masks
      • Important papers
      • Valid identification
      • Medications – prescription and over-the-counter; along with hearing-aids, wheelchair batteries, oxygen, etc.
      • Eyeglasses
      • Cash or Travelers checks
      • Duct tape and plastic tarps for shelter in place
Check Out Some Additional Important Planning Links

below  from AARP Hawaii, Alzheimer’s Hawaii,, Red Cross, CDC and FEMA:

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five steps to create an emergency disaster plan for older adults

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For more information take a look at the following articles:

Understanding Balance Problems in Seniors


What to Do When Your Loved One Says “No!” To In-Home Care

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