FEMA for Seniors Reaches Out to Texans at High Risk in Disasters

“In the event we have another hurricane, that will be the first thing that I pull out,” said Rosamond of La Porte.

Rosamond and other seniors at the La Porte Senior Services received the family emergency planning kits through FEMA for Seniors, an educational outreach program for older Americans sponsored by the federal agency. The kit is designed to inform seniors about emergency and disaster preparedness and includes information on evacuating, emergency kits, medical needs, emergency shelters and caring for pets.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable in disasters because of physical, psychosocial and cultural characteristics, research has found.

FEMA for Seniors also provides information on FEMA programs and flood insurance and includes presentations by the American Red Cross and Small Business Administration on disaster assistance.

“It’s really a great program,” said Kristin Gauthier, an emergency preparedness planner for the city of La Porte, who attended the program.

Rosamond said she especially appreciated that FEMA representatives with the program took time during a break in the presentation to help an elderly couple whose home had been destroyed by Hurricane Ike. “I was very impressed by that,” she said.

For more information about disaster preparedness for older Americans, visit http://www.ready.gov/america/_downloads/older_americans.pdf. Texans who have already applied to FEMA and still need assistance are encouraged to call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800 462-7585.  For further information on Hurricane Ike and FEMA’s role in the recovery effort, visit www.fema.gov/ike.