Caring for the Elderly During a Disaster

Caring for the Elderly During a Disaster

                                                                                          By Jeanette Vale

My mom is nearing 80 years of age.  She is the Grand Prepper.  She trained her children to be prepared.  The curveballs since 2020  have had little effect because of mom and her example.  I am so grateful for her!

Now she uses a walker.  I live with her.  If the ground starts shaking she is my number one priority.  Here are some ideas for living with an elderly person who will need assistance.

Let’s assume First Responders don’t come for days. 

What are your goals for your elderly?  Build your task list according to your goals.  Get things as ready as possible in a specific area.   

My goal is to make mom comfortable  ASAP so I can focus if other search and rescue efforts are needed.

  1. Identify a safe place to shelter in.  I have options (my van or a camping trailer)
  2. Assemble the bed, pillows, linens.
  3. Assemble the potty box, liners, TP, Eco gel, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer
  4. Water bottles, tissues, *food, snacks. floss.
  5. Know where the wheel chair is.  Stress can debilitate an older person.
  6. Grab the  72 Hour Kit with medications.
  7. Have a mini kitchen in a tote with 72 hours of food.
  8. cell phone, cords, solar panel.
  9.   Assure them, quiet their fears, or maybe they'll do that for you.
  10. Give a squishy ball to massage
  11. Turn on a Hallmark Movie.  Or peruse photos on the cell phone.
  12. Place an injured or low functioning person with her and they can help each other and keep company.  I read this article to my mom before publishing.  She laughed so hard at this one. "Hey, are you a low functioning human?  Come here and take care of my mom, thanks--and she better be alive when I get back".
  13. I think I’d like her in the van that I drive so if we have to evacuate, I don’t need to move her again.  
  14. A whistle.  The elderly may need attention and blasting a whistle might be the only way they can be loud and get attention when they need it.

*GREAT SNACKS FOR THE ELDERLY that require no cooking.  If you cannot attend to your elderly at least give them a pair of scissors and a spoon to cut open bags and eat from pouches.  When you are doing search and rescue, you may have to leave your elderly person alone for long periods. 

  1. Apple sauce
  2. Soft chew jerky
  3. Soft raisins
  4. Soft Popcorn
  5. Madras Lentils in a pouch
  6. Tuna in a pouch w/mayo pouches
  7. crackers
  8. chili in a pouch
  9. Lots of water 
  10. Ensure complete nutrition drink
  11. Ginger snaps or any favorite familiar snack
  12. Built Bar or other energy bars.


I suggest a potty box for an elderly person because it is shorter than a bucket.  A bucket makes me nervous, there is the tip-over factor.  The potty box folds flat and is easy to have in the van.  When it’s needed just pop it out.  Watch video here.


Seniors want to be busy.  Pack them something ahead of time.  A deck of cards, knitting needles and yarn, whittling kit and wood, their Bible and journal, etc.

Ask them to write about their life, as much as they can remember.  That will keep them in a mentally better place than the current disaster.

If you are running around with too much, hand them any small task that they can do to help life get back to normal. 

Ask them for advice.  They've been around the block more times than you.  They have excellent ways of solving  problems.

My mom is fantastic at the talents she has.  Between she and I, we make one fully operational prepper.  She is the best team mate.  We tag team and conquer all the time.  Even if she can't walk well she is still valuable in her contributions.  Do not underestimate them.  The elderly are better than a gaggle of  teenagers!


Hey come in and visit us.

72 Hour Emergency Kit 1 Person

 Power Outage Kit - Premium

Roadside Deluxe  Car Kit

Cat Emergency Kit

Dog Emergency Kit

HeatStore Sleeping Bag  I love this bag for keeping a person warm if they are in a cold car.  Ask your elder to pinch the bag shut above their head.  It makes a wonderful cocoon of warmth.

Condensation does build up.  I'm not sure how that will effect temperature after several hours.  I tested it in 16 degrees and it was so lovely!  I was wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and wet bare feet.


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