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Senior Disaster Resource Alliance

When disaster strikes, are seniors and those charged with the responsibility of their safety adequately prepared? After the recent fires in North County this was a question we asked ourselves and others.
The firestorms brought home the need for a more cohesive, coordinated effort by the many agencies, both government and NGO, responsible for the safety of our region’s seniors in times of disaster. The Foundation for Senior Wellbeing has undertaken a leadership role in this effort by organizing a series of meetings to discuss and address the issues raised. 
The group, organized as the “Senior Disaster Resource Alliance” started meeting in 2014. Participants in the Alliance have identified three specific areas for attention: communication, transportation, and shelter (see more below).  The Foundation's Senior Emergency Preparation events offered in communities throughout the year were launched in 2018.
Examples of areas addressed include:
  • Go to Mobile Home Parks to identify residents who will need help and/or transportation.  Provide education about the evacuation element.
  • Churches want to know what they can do.
  • Go Bags might be a tool to help seniors be ready to evacuate?
  • Produce information for aid workers and planners which basically says, “Here is what an emergency looks like for a senior.”
  • Important to have lists of seniors needing assistance in the hands of law enforcement.
  • What happens when the local government shuts down?
  • How do we identify those who need transportation assistance?
  • How do we deal with special transportation needs of seniors unable to utilize school buses, etc.?
  • Who pays for what?
  • Who coordinates?
  • A problem for private facilities is that certain licensing requirements prohibit taking in non-resident seniors in an emergency.  Board and Care facility regulations prohibit emergency shelter.  Is legislation needed to alleviate licensing requirements in an emergency situation? 
  • Could hotel chains help with spare rooms?
  • Seniors want their pets with them. How do we deal with that?
Do you have expertise or experience in these areas?  Would you like to help?
Contact us for more information and to be added to our growing list of community leaders.
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