U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

two seniors looking at a Ready brochure and website on a laptop

Older Adults

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.

feature_mini img

Download the Take Control in 1, 2, 3—Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults. Use the worksheets and checklists in this guide to create your plan, then add it to your emergency kit or put it on your refrigerator as a visible reminder that you are prepared.

an older couple sit on the couch looking at a tablet, while their cat lays next to them.
  • Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation, and when to shelter in place, and plan what you need to do in both cases.
  • Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV and radio for warnings about severe weather in your area.
  • Download the FEMA app and get weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.

Plan Ahead

Two older adults communicating via smart devices

Plan how you will communicate if you have a communications need.

Older woman putting together an emergency supply kit for her dog

Plan for food, water, and essentials for you and pets or service animals. Research pet-friendly evacuation centers.

Older man in wheelchair being helped into a bus by a healthcare worker

Plan for your transportation if you need help evacuating.

First aid kit with medication, flashlight and water.

Include items that meet your individual needs, such as medicines, medical supplies, batteries and chargers, in your emergency supply kit.

A wheelchair, walker and crutches

Plan how you will have your assistive devices with you during an evacuation.

Graphic of an insurance policy paperwork on a clip board

Make copies of Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance cards.

Make a Plan

Determine any special assistance you may need and include plans for that assistance in your emergency plan. For more detailed information, visit our page on planning for people with disabilities.

A man in a wheelchair is helped into a bus by a caregiver and a young friend
  • Create a support network of family, friends and others who can assist you during an emergency. Make an emergency plan and practice it with them.
  • Make sure at least one person in your support network has an extra key to your home, knows where you keep your emergency supplies, and knows how to use lifesaving equipment or administer medicine.
  • If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital, find out their emergency plans and work with them to identify back-up service providers.
  • Don’t forget your pets or service animals. Not all shelters accept pets, so plan for alternatives. Consider asking loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area if they can help with your animals.

Get Your Benefits Electronically

A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, important way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  • Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. If you get federal benefits you can sign up by calling 800-333-1795 or sign up online.
  • The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper.

Associated Content

Last Updated: 09/20/2023

Return to top