Emergencies can strike at any time, and for senior citizens living alone, being prepared is crucial.  If you are a primary caregiver, helping your senior be prepared for times when you are not there significantly extends your role’s value.

Create an Emergency Plan

Start by developing a comprehensive emergency plan. Write down important phone numbers, including family, friends, neighbors, and emergency services. Keep this list in an easily accessible place. Determine safe spots in your home for disasters and practice getting to these spots.

Stay Informed

Keep a battery-powered or hand-crank radio to stay updated on the latest emergency information. If you use a smartphone, set up emergency alerts to receive real-time updates.

Build an Emergency Kit

Prepare an emergency kit with enough supplies for at least three days. Include:

  • Water: One gallon per person per day.
  • Food: Non-perishable items like canned goods, energy bars, and dried fruits.
  • Medications: A seven-day supply of all your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
  • First-Aid Supplies: Bandages, antiseptic wipes, and ointments.
  • Personal Hygiene Items: Hand sanitizer, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries: For power outages.
  • Extra Glasses or Contact Lenses: If you use them.

Wear a Medical Alert System

Consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace that can summon help with the push of a button.

Home Safety Check

Regularly check your home for potential hazards:

  • Smoke Detectors: Ensure they are working and have fresh batteries.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Install them if you don’t have any.
  • Clear Pathways: Remove tripping hazards like loose rugs and clutter.
  • Secure Furniture: Fasten shelves and heavy items to walls to prevent tipping.

Know Your Neighbors

Build relationships with neighbors who can check on you during an emergency—exchange keys so they can access your home if necessary.

Learn Basic First Aid

Take a first aid class to learn how to handle minor injuries and manage health conditions until help arrives.

Financial Preparedness

Keep a small amount of cash at home in case ATMs are not operational. Store important documents like insurance policies, identification, and bank records in a waterproof container.

Stay Connected

Maintain regular contact with family and friends. Let them know your emergency plans and discuss how you will communicate during a disaster.


Regularly review and practice your emergency plan to ensure you are ready to act quickly and efficiently.

By following these tips, senior citizens can feel more secure knowing they are prepared for emergencies, even alone. Remember, preparation today can make a significant difference should an emergency event occur.