Emergency Preparedness Natural disasters and major emergencies occur each year and present unique challenges to local communities. Because of the location of the five counties served by WRAAA, weather-related emergencies including tornadoes, major winter storms and flooding are legitimate threats at any time. The growth of the aging population and the increasing number of frail elders and persons with disabilities remaining in their own homes create special challenges in the event of a disaster or widespread communicable-disease outbreak. Recent events have shown that the aging network needs to be proactive in preparing to respond. Planning and Response Efforts Although WRAAA is not a primary responder in the event of a disaster, we have a strong and active presence in emergency preparedness planning and response efforts for the indiviuals in the counties we serve. We play a critical role in joint efforts to respond to the needs of these individuals during and following a disaster or emergency. Our function in disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation procedures is to address and meet these needs through collaboration and coordination of mutual assistance. When a disaster strikes, older persons and persons with disabilities may experience public health and human service needs that threaten their well-being. It is critical that: All individuals, including older and disabled persons, their caregivers, as well as Aging Services Network professionals, develop personal preparedness plans. All sectors of the national Aging Services Network and other professionals become full participants in coordinated preparedness and response planning between federal, state, tribal and local governments, as well as private, voluntary and faith-based sectors. Get to know these resources and strategies that can assist you or your loved to better prepare for, and respond to, all types of emergencies and disasters: Emergency Readiness for Older Adults and CaregiversResources for the Aging Service Network and Other Professionals Talk with a member of our team with any questions you have regarding emergency preparedness.