ST. GEORGE – When a disaster happens, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and those living alone can be especially vulnerable. The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is addressing this issue by promoting the “Preparedness Buddy” concept, which simply connects these people with trusted neighbors, friends, or family members who agree to check on them in an emergency situation.
“We have a lot of people in this category living in our district,” the department’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Director Paulette Valentine said. “They will fare much better in a disaster if they’ve already arranged to have someone follow up to make sure they’re alright. This includes knowing what essential medications and medical equipment they use, especially if there is an evacuation.”
The Preparedness Buddy plan calls for an individual to:
- Identify someone they trust who would check on them in an emergency
- Contact that person to make sure they agree
- Discuss and write down specific concerns and needs with the “buddy”
- Make sure both keep the information on hand
A pamphlet with these steps and additional preparedness information is available at www.swuhealth.org.
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