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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Most Older Adults Lack Emergency Plan for Natural Disasters

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023   

Most older adults are not as prepared as they should be to respond quickly in the event of natural disasters which can strike with little notice, according to a new AARP and University of Chicago survey.

Less than a third of adults age 50 and older have created an emergency plan for wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, summer heat domes or winter bomb cyclones.

Tom Kamber, executive director of Older Adults Technology Services for AARP, said the first step is to ensure having access to vital information.

"Getting signed up for alerts so that you're given accurate information in time," Kamber recommended. "As we all saw with the recent fires in Hawaii, just a few minutes was the difference between life and death for people to be able to evacuate to respond to a crisis."

Kamber explained it is important to have a phone charger for your car in case the power goes out. Enter any emergency contacts into your phone, download your bank's smartphone app, and create copies of important documents you can access online. AARP offers a template for creating an emergency plan and links to resources at AARP.org/disasterprep. The template is also available in Spanish.

People living in assisted living facilities and their family members should talk with administrators about their emergency and evacuation plans.

Kamber stressed it is critical to discuss your needs with a trusted support network before a disaster occurs.

"It also sets up questions around, for example, who is going to be your in-case-of-emergency contact in your phone? If you do have to relocate in an emergency, make sure you have identified a place to stay," Kamber advised.

It is also important to have three days' supply of food and water, and three weeks' supply of prescription medicines, on hand and ready to go. Older adults are frequently more socially isolated, so Kamber emphasized it is especially important for neighbors to look out for each other during a crisis.

"For many of us as we age, we've got special physical needs," Kamber pointed out. "We have medications, as well as mobility issues that limit us from being able to get away from our house without assistance."

Disclosure: AARP Wyoming contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Consumer Issues, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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