One thought on “Senior Citizens Suffer in Disasters

  1. Very interesting, Claire. I agree this is a subject that needs more attention.
    Now that I are one (elderly), I realize that we faced very different considerations on whether to leave Orlando during Hurricane Irma, for example. In storm surge or wildfire zones, there would be no question — but in a more marginal risk situation, age becomes a major deciding factor. By the time the risk became more clear, it was too late for us 80-somethings to drive or fly away safely (in a state where 20 million people were at risk in that meandering storm). Roads, airports, and shelters were jammed. Lucky us, our family met our needs, the storm swerved, and our roof held.
    But leaders were challenged to provide the best public guidance, flexible by forecasts and site-specific conditions that changed hourly, that a lesser-experienced state might not have managed.
    Evacuation of millions of people may be the only answer in some situations, but it is becoming well-nigh unmanageable in these dense urban risk zones.
    Perhaps a new discussion is needed about managing and mitigating disasters when many elderly people are safest sheltered in place — including better ways to measure the real costs of power loss, to upgrade cost-benefit calculations for mitigation.
    Thank you for your great work, Claire. You are much appreciated!

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