Older Adults and Disasters
There are many resources available to help older adults, caregivers, and professionals working with older adults learn more about disaster planning and response. This page highlights some great places to start as well as providing a platform to spotlight best practices in our southeastern region. We recommend using Search. Find. Help. to locate additional resources.
The CDC Foundation, with technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), funded NORC at the University of Chicago to study the needs and concerns of older adults and their caregivers during public health emergencies. NORC’s research led to the development of Search. Find. Help., which includes approximately 300 programs and resources. Findings from this project were also synthesized into a final report (appendices; intervention tables); an executive summary; a caregiver infographic highlighting key findings; and a caregiver one-pager of resources, available in English and Spanish.
AARP Disaster Resilience Tool Kit
The AARP Disaster Resilience Tool Kit has been created for local leaders, government staff, aging services professionals, and community advocates and volunteers. When emergency managers, state and local officials, and other community leaders understand the diverse needs of older adults — by working with them and one another — the plans, projects and procedures they design and deploy will be more effective at protecting residents from harm and saving lives.
Centre for Disaster Protection
The Centre plays a unique role in the global risk management and crisis financing architecture. We were established to address major challenges to effective disaster risk financing and promote more impactful and more equitable disaster risk finance at scale, that leaves no one behind.
Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults (FEMA)
This guide is intended to support older adults and their caregivers in preparing in three easy steps: assess your needs, create a plan and engage your network. The guide provides easy-to-read, user-friendly worksheets that walk individuals and caregivers through a self-assessment to identify specific needs and checklists that create a personalized plan.
Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults (American Red Cross)
A disaster or emergency that can directly affect your daily life can happen at any time, sometimes without warning. Thankfully, there are things you can do to be prepared, respond safely, and help speed your recovery. These tips from the Red Cross can help you know what to do before, during and after a disaster or emergency.
More resources from American Red Cross
- Preparedness for Older Adults Checklist (PDF)
- Preparación de los adultos mayores lista de verificación (PDF)
- Preparedness for Older Adults Booklet (PDF)
- Preparación de los adultos mayores folleto (PDF)
- Caregivers Preparedness Checklist (PDF)
- Preparedness for Older Adults White Paper (PDF)
- Complete an Emergency Contact Card (PDF)
- How to Build Your Support Network
- Browse the Emergency Library
- Common Disasters Where You Live
Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults and People with Disabilities (ACL)
This page includes resources and tips from the Administration for Community Living.
FEMA Mobile Products
The FEMA app allows you to receive real-time weather alerts, locate emergency shelters in your area, prepare for common hazards, and more.
Find a CERT
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program trains volunteers to both efficiently and safely act as support to professional responders during disaster situations. Before, during, and after disasters, CERT volunteer teams perform basic response activities, including checking in on neighbors, distributing information to the public, supporting emergency operations centers, and helping to manage traffic and crowds. Use this site to find a CERT program near you.
Future of Housing: Shifts in Environmental Conditions (AARP)
The nation’s housing is ill-equipped to handle the frequency, intensity, and volatility of extreme weather events, and communities are not prepared to respond. Implementing effective housing solutions to mitigate the risk of harmful repercussions of these phenomena is crucial.
Guide to Expanding Mitigation Making the Connection to Older Adults (FEMA/AARP)
This Guide to Expanding Mitigation for Older Adults was created in partnership between FEMA and AARP, the nation’s largest advocacy organization representing the needs of Americans age 50 and older. It highlights the value of creating accessible communities for all ages. It also recommends ways for community officials to include older adults in efforts to reduce risk through hazard mitigation. That includes the planning and project development, implementation and evaluation processes. This guide serves as a starting point for community officials to discuss how these partnerships in mitigation can create more livable, accessible, and resilient communities for all.
Helping Older Adults After Disasters: A Guide to Providing Support (SAMSHA)
This guide is designed for outreach workers, crisis counselors, or other workers or volunteers providing support to older adults after a disaster.
Mold Exposure (NIH)
As part of its hurricane and flood response efforts, the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) developed a Mold Cleanup and Treatment orientation for workers, volunteers, and homeowners who engage in small-scale mold cleanup and treatment of flooded or water-damaged homes. Several WTP awardees also offer mold awareness and mold remediation training, and NIEHS has developed mold remediation guidance that is available in both English and Spanish. These resources are found on this page, along with additional health and safety resources for workers who may be exposed to mold during remediation/cleanup work or emergency response activities.
Mold Removal Articles
National Household Survey (FEMA)
The National Household Survey (NHS) tracks progress in personal disaster preparedness through investigation of the American public's preparedness actions, attitudes, and motivations.
Older Adults and Disasters: How to Be Prepared and Assist Others (APA)
This pamphlet from the American Psychological Association includes disaster preparedness tips, an emergency preparedness kit checklist, and additional online resources.
Operation Emergency Prepare (AARP)
Disasters are notable for their scale, unpredictability, or both. A hurricane, house fire, earthquake or tornado can leave devastation in its wake. The impact of such an event is often most severe for people who failed to plan ahead for emergencies. You probably have friends, family and neighbors who have no plans for how to act when a disaster is imminent, or how to respond after one has struck. “Operation Emergency Prepare” allows you to help others in your neighborhood who need to get ready.
Operation Hurricane Prepare (AARP)
Operation Hurricane Prepare is designed so that individuals, organizations, and community groups can be prepared in the event of this natural disaster. This project guide is for organizers but could easily be adapted to help individuals and families prepare as well.
Ready In Your Language
Ready offers information and materials in languages other than English. You can learn more about how to prepare before, during and after disasters, including making an emergency plan, building an emergency supply kit, and preparing for individual hazards.
Ready.Gov Older Adult Resources
As an older adult, you may have specific needs after a disaster. Use the information on this page to assess your needs and take simple, low-cost steps that help you get better prepared.
Regional Resource Examples
Arkansas Disaster Preparedness for Seniors
Disaster Preparedness for Seniors is a free online, self-paced program for community members to gain awareness and knowledge about the topic. This program takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
California Communities Organized to Prepare for Emergencies
The mission of COPE is to help residents, families, visitors, and neighbors become and remain better prepared to respond to and recover from emergency situations.
Florida Disaster Preparedness for Dementia Caregivers
Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday
During the 2023 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, you may purchase qualifying items related to disaster preparedness exempt from sales tax.
Georgia Get Ready Toolkit
The Get Ready Tool Kit is designed to help you get organized for any emergency. It consists of two parts:
Part 1: Household Emergency Plan
Part 2: Emergency Plan Checklist.
Georgia Functional and Access Needs Support Services Toolkit
The intent of this document is to provide local officials with tools to plan and provide reasonable accommodations for all citizens during disaster incidents.
South Carolina SENIOR P.R.E.P.
SENIOR P.R.E.P. is a program designed to provide planning resources to aid South Carolina's senior population in emergency planning. P.R.E.P. stands for Planning and Resources for Emergency Preparedness.
Texas After the Disaster: Considerations for Older Adults
Many services and benefits older adults use can be affected by natural disasters and other emergencies. Here are some tips for re-establishing lost services.
Complete the form, linked below, if you know of an Older Adults Disaster Resource we should include on this website. Completion of this form does not guarantee inclusion on our list.