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NEW YORK, September 27, 2016 — Senior citizens who plan ahead for natural disasters have the best chance of remaining safe--both physically and financially, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
While planning for a disaster is important for everyone, it is even more crucial for older adults who may be mobility restricted, have age-related hearing and vision loss, or have special medical needs, points out the I.I.I.
The I.I.I. has a checklist for older adults that includes the following tips:
- Have a disaster kit on hand with the supplies you need if you must evacuate or manage on your own for a period after a disaster. Along with important documents, and enough food and water to last at least 72 hours, include items necessary for your specific needs, such as eyeglasses, catheters, hearing aid batteries, oxygen, meal replacement shakes, etc. For a full list of disaster supply items, see Ready.gov.
- Plan for an evacuation by first learning if you are in an evacuation zone. The local county government or municipality can provide this information. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to leave and, if you are physically unable to drive, identify someone who can provide transportation. The I.I.I.’s Know Your Plan app can help seniors and their caretakers with an evacuation plan.
- Keep an up-to-date file of your medical history including doctors, prescriptions and dosages. Include a copy in your disaster kit.
- Keep your homeowners insurance up-to-date, and continue to insure your home even if it is paid off. Proper insurance will provide funds to rebuild and replace personal belongings. An up-to-date home inventory, which you can easily create with the I.I.I.’s Know Your Stuff app, will make it simpler to both purchase the right amount of insurance for your belongings and file a claim.
- Take steps to strengthen your home. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has information about how to make an existing home stronger and safer. If you are having trouble keeping up with upgrades and routine maintenance for protecting your home, don’t be afraid to ask friends of family for help.
- Consider buying flood and earthquake coverage as neither event is covered under standard homeowners and renters policies. Flood insurance is available from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private insurers. Keep in mind, there is a 30-day waiting period. Earthquake insurance is available from private insurers and, in California, from the California Earthquake Authority.
Articles: Disaster Planning for Older Adults; Disaster Planning with Pets
Podcast: Disaster Victims: Beware of Crooked Contractors
Video: Protecting Your Home from an Earthquake
The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its You Tube Channel. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here.
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org