As National Preparedness Month comes to an end, NYC Emergency Management reminds New Yorkers that creating an emergency plan is the first step to keeping their families safe during an emergency. While all New Yorkers should create a plan, older adults and individuals with disabilities and/or access and functional needs are particularly vulnerable during emergencies. To highlight the importance of planning for emergencies, NYC Emergency Management hosted an emergency preparedness virtual panel for older adults on September 29, 2020. Representatives from the NYC Emergency Management Department, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Department for the Aging, and Older Adult Technology Services (OATS) participated in the virtual panel, sharing information with older adults on the importance of developing an emergency plan.
“While this year’s National Preparedness Month events have been primarily virtual, it has been a great opportunity to share valuable resources and information that can help New Yorkers keep their loved ones safe during an emergency,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell. “During emergencies, older adults and individuals with disabilities and/or access and functional needs are particularly vulnerable. Combined with the risks presented by the current pandemic, it is more important than ever that seniors are prepared. Though National Preparedness Month is ending, you can continue to prepare throughout the year to ensure your loved ones can face any emergency situation.”
“In the past few years, we have learned that emergency preparedness is paramount for older adults, given the threat of unexpected emergencies and their vulnerability – whether it was a hurricane, unprecedented heat emergencies, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. Older adults should have an emergency support network, have emergency supplies on hand, copies of their prescriptions, and, if applicable, register as a life-sustaining equipment customer with their utility company so they are aware of your needs. Education is critical. I want to thank NYC Emergency Management and all presenters for their partnership in keeping older New Yorkers informed and serving older New Yorkers during emergencies,” said NYC Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.
NYC Emergency Management works with older adults throughout the year to ensure they have the information necessary to remain safe during an emergency. During the event, the panel shared preparedness tips with older adults including the items to include in their Go Bag as well as steps they can take to develop an emergency plan with their friends and family. Panelists also discussed proactive steps older adults can take as we approach flu season. NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell was also on hand to deliver remarks. Following the presentation, attendees participated in a Q&A session with panelists. To view the panel presentation click here.
“We all need to be prepared for emergencies, and for older adults that may mean taking a few extra steps to stay safe when a disaster strikes. COVID-19, which has been disproportionally affecting older New Yorkers, serves as a reminder of how important preparedness is for our older populations,” said Iskra Killgore, acting assistant commissioner of Community Preparedness at NYC Emergency Management. “We want to encourage all older New Yorkers to take the steps to prepare now by making a plan, which can be written down in our My Emergency Plan booklet.”