Evacuating Older People During Disasters

thunderstormsUsing tact, understanding, and the ability to provide solid, reliable information are keys to persuading older people to leave their homes during floods or other natural disasters. Find out what choices exist for an older person. Go over the list of choices including places where the older person can go. List the hazards of staying in their home.

Sit down and present the information logically. Indicate that the move may be temporary, if that is true. Then back off and let the older person have time to think. When older people are forced to leave their home against their will, they often resist.

If an older person is mentally competent, the family must abide by his or her choice. If the older person has a guardian, talk to him or her first.

When returning to a flood damaged home, cleanup and rebuilding homes are a nightmare. Seek advice and help from the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, church groups, and local civic groups. Flood insurance is available in counties that meet certain federal guidelines.

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