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HHS HealthBeat (February 12, 2014)

Seniors and disasters

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A survey indicates most seniors are unprepared for natural disasters. The national poll of about 1,300 people ages 50 and older asked, among other things, whether they had a disaster plan and a way to evacuate if they had to leave their homes.

At the University of Iowa, researcher Tala Al-rousan:

"Only one third of older adults reported participating in an educational program or reading any materials about disaster preparation. It is alarming that about half did not know where to go in case they had to abandon their homes."

Al-rousan says family members and members of their community, such as neighbors, should help seniors prepare – and help them also in a disaster.

The study in the American Journal of Public Health was supported by the National Institutes of Health. 

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: February 12, 2014