Senior Citizens More Susceptible To Life-Threatening Effects Of Natural Disasters

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Senior citizens more susceptible to life-threatening effects of natural disastersA new study reveals that senior citizens typically suffer disproportionately during natural disasters, such as the recent tsunami in Japan.

Due to the physical limitations of many people over the age of 65, survival preparations are especially important for seniors. The report, which appears in The Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences, states that elderly citizens are especially at risk in the wake of a tsunami or other disasters because of a limited access to food, water and lifesaving medications.

In the 2006 edition of the journal Public Policy and Aging Report, it was revealed that three quarters of those who died as a result of Hurricane Katrina were over the age of 60.

When a region is devastated by a catastrophic event, many seniors do not have the physical capabilities to access the services that they need in order to survive. Thus, officials from The Gerontological Society of America said that proper preparations must be taken to ensure the safety of these at-risk citizens, including a multi-tier evacuation plan.

For example, "go-kits" should be accessible to all senior citizens. These kits should include contact information of family members and healthcare providers as well as high-nutrient foods. In addition, they should contain at least a week's supply of all prescription and over-the-counter medications that they normally take.  

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