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Tailoring disaster and public health emergency preparedness, response, and recovery to the needs of older adults and disabled Americans
This is a testimony by the RAND Corporation before the Special Committee on Aging United States Senate. The speaker believes that to optimally respond to the needs of older adults and people with disabilities when disasters and public health emergencies strike, much advance preparation is needed, including having policies and practices in place that will help both mitigate the threats posed by these events to these populations and support their recovery from such incidents once they are over.
The following steps are proposed to improve disaster preparedness for these specific populations:
- Define the populations at risk and predict their specific health and social services needs under different emergency scenarios.
- Build multi-sector, multi-stakeholder resiliency networks to support older adults and people with disabilities.
- Develop mechanisms for "smarter" federal funding to support the response and recovery needs of these populations.