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FEMA rolls out new campaign encouraging older adults to be prepared

Posted at 8:28 AM, Dec 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-06 09:54:05-05

The federal government is out with new tools to prepare older citizens for major disasters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently released new public service announcements targeting older adults, especially those on fixed incomes, to make sure they’re prepared for the next disaster.

“Going through a disaster can be traumatizing for anyone. It can cause memory loss for anyone of any age,” said Lea Crager, Director of External Affairs with FEMA Region 4, which includes Southwest Florida.

The campaign urges people to make a plan, assess your needs and create a support system.

“Engage a support network. It can be family, it can be friends, it can be your church group. Involve other people in your plan. Let them know your plans in case you have to evacuate or something happened to you,” Crager said.

In the year since Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida, the elderly population has been hit especially hard.

“I’ve been through a lot of hurricanes here. Nothing as devastating as this one that brought the water in,” said Eddie McNulty, who lost his home in Collier County in the storm and is now living in the St. Matthew’s House homeless shelter.

In the latest count, more than one-fourth of all homeless people in Collier County were older than 60.