"Annually, natural disasters occur through floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes, and some may be serious enough that they are Presidentially declared. This declaration brings to bear the resources of the federal government in order to restore the public facilities of a community and to assist individuals in restoring their lives. Many more disasters occur on a smaller scale that are not of such scope and, therefore, are ineligible for a federal response. This often leaves older persons dependent upon their own individual resources and capabilities which are often inadequate. Historically, the mission of several national non-profit organizations (American Red Cross, Salvation Army) has been to assist in disaster situations on an immediate response basis. However, neither of these agencies nor the Federal Emergency Management Agency have fully established an operational response capability to serve the special needs of older adult or disabled disaster victims, especially on a long term basis. Further, these agencies have not developed an assistance strategy that would be adaptable to individual or situational circumstances. This means a coordinated team effort, including all of the expertise and capabilities of the aging network, is necessary if older persons are to be served adequately."
United States. Administration on Aging: http://www.aoa.gov