Red Cross releases Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults Guide

Topics: National, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
OTTAWA | May 02, 2022

This week the Canadian Red Cross released their Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults Guide as part of national Emergency Preparedness Week. The guide was created in collaboration with the National Institute for Aging as a resource to help seniors be prepared for an emergency.

Older adults consistently experience the highest level of impact during and after emergencies. Natural events, such flooding, ice storms, heat waves and other disasters can severely affect older adults as they are more likely to have issues with heating and air conditioning equipment, less optimal housing conditions, and poor coordination between emergency, health, and social services.

A disaster or an emergency can happen at any time, sometimes without warning, so it’s crucial for individuals and families, especially those with older adults, to be prepared before an emergency happens. The guide outlines what Canadians need to prepare for before, during, and after an emergency.

“It is very important for older adults and their families or caregivers to create a plan before an emergency or disaster strikes,” said Melanie Soler, vice-president of emergency management for Canadian Red Cross. “There are three main considerations for people when it comes to emergency preparedness, which are to know the risks, make a plan, and build an emergency kit.”

The guide details how to assess an older adults’ medical, physical and cognitive needs that may affect their ability to respond to a disaster or an emergency. It also outlines the importance of identifying helpers and building a support network of family, friends, neighbours, carers and health professionals who can assist during a disaster or emergency. A list of items and documents to prepare in the case of evacuation, and what to do once the recovery process begins are also outlined in the guide.

“We hope older adults and their caregivers will take the time to review this guide and implement the suggestions, as some preparation in advance of an event could help to mitigate potential harm and distress that could come from an emergency or disaster,” said Soler.

The Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults Guide can be found at
About the Canadian Red Cross
Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster. As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – which is made up of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 192 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies – the Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to helping people and communities in Canada and around the world in times of need, and supporting them in strengthening their resilience.
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