"By the time adults have lived through six or more decades, they have probably experienced more than one disaster. Many older adults can be an asset during a disaster, calling upon their prior experience, wisdom and mental resilience to survive, help others, and provide reassurance to those who are frightened or depressed by the events. However, certain aspects of the aging process can make many older adults particularly vulnerable during a disaster, especially if they have one or more chronic illnesses, functional limitations, or dementia. Emergency preparedness experts have begun to recognize the special needs of older adults with chronic conditions following a disaster and are planning to assist this population. Despite urging by government and health officials, many members of the public have not planned for a disaster or stocked supplies. However, the Advertising Council, which works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on public education campaigns, has identified some recent improvements in people's willingness to prepare for emergencies. The proportion of Americans who said they have taken any steps to prepare rose from 45 percent in 2005 to 55 percent in 2006. The council also found that 54 percent of those surveyed in 2006 had put together an emergency kit, 39 percent had created a family emergency plan, and 40 percent had searched for information about preparedness."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.): http://www.cdc.gov/