AARP Eye Center
A new resource from AARP is taking aim at protecting older adults before, during and after natural disasters and supporting communities in mitigating the effects of extreme weather events.
The AARP Disaster Resilience Tool Kit has been created in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for local and state leaders, aging services professionals and community volunteers. It is a companion title to the Guide to Expanding Mitigation: Making the Connection to Older Adults, published by FEMA as a resource for emergency management professionals.
“By 2034, adults ages 65 and over will outnumber those under 18 in the United States for the first time. This has profound implications during natural disasters and extreme weather events,” said Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer at AARP. “State and local leaders and emergency officials must be better equipped and prepared to ensure that older adults are kept safe and their needs are met when a disaster strikes.”
A growing body of evidence shows that older adults are disproportionately impacted by the types of weather-related emergencies and natural disasters that are becoming increasingly frequent and severe. Individuals who have chronic illnesses, functional limitations or disabilities are especially vulnerable, as evidenced by the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on older adults. Not only are older people at a higher risk of death from infectious diseases and disasters, but the long-term effects on those who survive often undermine their physical and mental health, economic security and overall wellbeing.
Although many communities support older adults in preparation for disasters, expanded mitigation planning can help reduce the loss of life and property by minimizing the impact of disasters before they happen. Mitigation actions and strategies that make cities, towns and neighborhoods safer for older adults can benefit all residents and increase community resilience overall.
The guide and tool kit are the result of a multi-year collaboration between AARP and FEMA to identify and provide resources, spark ideas and encourage organizations to better engage older Americans in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations. This long-term, strategic alliance aims to advance accessible, safe and livable communities for people of all ages.
To view, download or pre-order a print copy of the AARP Disaster Resilience Tool Kit, visit AARP.org/DisasterResilience.
To view and download the Guide to Expanding Mitigation: Making the Connection to Older Adults, visit FEMA.gov.