Emergencies, by definition, are unexpected and serious situations that require immediate attention. In my line of work, emergencies happen all the time. They occur with natural disasters as well as when other everyday things go wrong, which often may cause a fire, flood or other hardship. When I was a child in school, we always practiced fire drills and other emergency drills like tornado, flood, etc. This emergency training was enforced in all schools because administrators wanted to be sure that children knew exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. I am sure that over the years, this emergency training has saved many lives during emergencies.

With this being said, emergency preparedness is important for all citizens of the community, especially the young and the old. In my opinion, schools do a pretty good job getting young people ready for an emergency situation such as a fire, a tornado or a flood. On the other hand, the elderly of the community are not prepared as they should be. It is very important to prepare them because many older people have mobility issues and it may take longer for them to find a safe place to wait out an emergency. Many also have mental issues that makes it harder for them to prepare for a disaster.

Because of this phenomenon, I strongly suggest the elderly get better training. This needs to start within facilities that house many elderly people such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. I have recently started consulting with some local skilled nursing facilities to beef up their training programs and it has been great! With regular daily routines implemented in these types of facilities, drills and other emergency training scenarios could be easily inserted into rules and regulations. As these older people become more accustomed to reacting to an emergency situation, it will help them to act more suitably and quickly during a disaster as well as get mentally prepared for the possibility of emergencies.

When older adults are taught where to go, what to do and how to get help, it will ease much anxiety related with emergencies and also help them to get in a safe position much more quickly. This will also help staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities to organize emergency plans. This will also help them get safe in the event of an emergency. One of my goals with the consulting gig is to leave each facility with a written emergency evacuation plan.

In my line of work, disasters happen quick and without much notice. The only way to ensure safety is to train and be prepared for any emergency that comes my way. Once I teach people how to handle all types of situations, it makes them feel more comfortable in any type of situation that may occur unexpectedly. This can happen in schools, homes, workplaces and other places that people spend a lot of their time. In the case of older adults, special care should be taken in emergencies and training is the first step to helping them to help themselves.

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