Older Adults and Evacuation_Mind4Survival_Prepper_Prepping_Prepared_SurvivalHave you ever considered what you’ll need if you are involved with older adults and evacuations? Are you an older adult who may have to evacuate at some point from where you’re living?

Well, if you have older relatives and friends, or know of someone who cares for an older person, please share this episode with them so that they can better prepare to overcome adversity when it strikes. 

In this episode on Older Adults and Evacuations

  1. Who Do We Need to Plan For?
  2. What Should We Plan For?
  3. The Battle of the Bulge
  4. Better Off Than You Think

The motivation for this article comes from a question Marilyn Laux posted here on the Mind4Survival website.

Marilyn wrote:

“What happens if you’re elderly and can’t evacuate. I used to evacuate for hurricanes when I lived on the coast. As you well know, nursing homes awill be hard hit by power outages, flooding, etc. Plus, the infirmed can’t flee. How does one evacuate if they don’t drive, can’t afford a car, etc.?

I always prepared with food and water for at least a week and can cook over an open fire. My challenge would be keeping warm should a disaster happen in winter, although I have many quilts and warm clothing. I grew up in an era of farming and make do with what you have, but at 79 I’m too old for keeping chickens, or a milk cow.

I do have shelf milk, flour, cornmeal for bread making, which I know how to cook in a skillet over an open fire. If needed, I can forage, and dandelions make a good salad or cooked if one knows how and also for tea, plus it’s healthy.”

First off, Marilyn, thanks so much for sending your question to Mind4Survival.com. It’s a great question and one that not enough people, in my opinion, ask.

Who Do We Need to Plan For?

To answer your question, let me start by stating that this is not just a question for older adults. This is a question that should be asked for anyone in your preparedness planning. It is especially relevant for people who may not be as agile as a young, healthy person.

To plan well, consider the people in your lives who may not be as quick, steady, or mobile. In other words, some, if not all of the planning we do may require that we make special allowances for others.

In the end, we can never plan for how people will act. Nor can we plan for what their abilities will be when an emergency happens. So, when you prepare for disasters, do so by creating secondary plans that consider anyone with limited capabilities. After all, while we’re talking about older adults, what will you do when an emergency happens the day after a loved one breaks a leg, has an operation or is extremely ill? In spite of their age, they’ll be anything other than spry.

What Should We Plan For?

When planning, we need to plan for as many REALISTIC scenarios as possible. The fact is that we can’t predict the future with 100% accuracy. However, we can make some educated guesses about the future.

With that, to answer your first question Marilyn, which was, “How does one evacuate if they don’t drive, can’t afford a car, etc.?” Well, the truth is that we all need to plan realistically and make the best out of the hand that life deals us.

So, in your case Marilyn, if you are unable to evacuate yourself, nor are you able to plan for someone to evacuate you, then you may want to plan on doing the best with what you have. In other words, stock up on the supplies you need to make your situation as safe and comfortable as possible.

The Battle of the Bulge

I think of it like this. During World War 2, when the 101st Airborne Division was in the Battle of the Bulge, they weren’t dealt a great hand. They were cut off with nowhere to go. They were limited on supplies, ammunition, food, and appropriate winter clothing. However, in spite of all their limitations, including limited options, they did the best with what they had. And you know what, sometimes all we can hope for is to make the best out of a bad situation.

That doesn’t mean give up and not make plans to evacuate. Heck, you never know what may happen during a disaster so, I’d have my bug out bag ready to go regardless of what my evacuation plan is, or isn’t.

Better Off Than You Think

One of the things that I think we as preppers often get wrong is looking at things from a constantly too negative of a point of view. After all, thinking about older adults and evacuations along with society ending events isn’t a happy thought. I believe that because we think about the worst a situation could offer, we sometimes also think that we have to do a lot to prepare for it. I honestly don’t think that is always the case.

Marilyn, that especially applies to people from your generation. As you write, you will always be ready

with food and water for at least a week. I’m willing to bet that if you put your mind to it, you could easily stretch your one week of preparedness into two weeks, three weeks, or more. You also mentioned trying to keep warm, but at the same time, you said that you have a good number of quilts and warm clothing. So, it sounds to me like you have that concerned licked as well.

Now, you also wrote about being too old for keeping chickens, or a milk cow. However, as you mentioned, you have a week of food, so again, not having to run with the chickens doesn’t sound like a game stopper to me.

Come to think of it, with what you wrote, I think that you may be more prepared than you realize. So, you may want to sit down, write out your challenges and concerns, and think them. Then think about what you have to overcome them with.

One More Thing

One other note for you Marilyn. When reading your email, I get the feeling that you know your way around a garden, kitchen, and possibly a farm. With that, I bet you have a lot of great skills that you could teach to some of the younger preppers in your area.

When you do, you may find someone who can help you solve that evacuation plan. One place you can try looking at for meeting other preppers is Forrest Garvin’s PrepperNet. You can find over at PrepperNet.com.

So, when it comes to problems with our mobility, age, etc., it’s a good idea to remember that while some issues may be more difficult to overcome, many problems can be remedied by thinking in a more positive, can-do light.

We can also often solve our problems by taking a step back. Then look at the situation from the outside looking in. When we do, we tend to think outside of the box and find the solutions that may have been hidden from us.

So with that, I hope I gave you some decent information to chew on Marilyn. If, you still have other questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] and ask away.

Quote of the Day

Today’s quote is by Edmund White who said,

“When I was young, I despised old people. I was provincial and narrow-minded. It's the reason I stayed stupid so long. If you only get involved with young people you don't learn anything about the world.” ~Edmund White

That's just a little something to think about when considering who you want to include in your preparedness plans.


Never forget, you’re just one prep away.

If you have any other thoughts or questions about older adults and evacuations, please leave a comment below.

Stay safe, secure and prepared,



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  1. Paul C on January 21, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Brian, I love your M4S sight. I listen in while doing my morning workouts.

    One area not covered in Episode 75 but important for seniors is that as we age we have more medical problems that are normally addressed with medications and if left untreated do to a lack of those medications can turn into a crisis. This is especially true when combined with the additional stress brought on by the disaster. Getting a prescription refilled can be impossible if your health care provider or the local pharmacy computers are down. I learned this the hard way back in 2010. What I do now is keep a ziplock bag of my prescription and health insurance cards copies in my BOB. I also have squirreled away a month’s worth of extra meds by refilling a week or so early. It is not much, but it should get me through the high stress period so I don’t become part of my family’s problems during a crisis.

    • Brian Duff on January 30, 2019 at 9:03 pm

      Paul, Thanks for the great feedback! You definitely give people some additional considerations to think about.

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