Seasonal Safety Considerations for Older Adults


With the fall season rolling in, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) would like to remind Californians about steps they can take to be adequately prepared this season.

Disaster preparation for older adults begins with trusted family members, friends, or healthcare providers who can make sure their needs will be met under any circumstance. Identify at least four people who can assist during an emergency and make sure you talk through a plan with everyone.

Planning and Preparedness

  • Make a Go-Bag with essential items including medicine and medical contact information.
  • Sign up for free local emergency alerts to receive early notifications.
  • Sign up for a medical baseline program to receive assistance if you rely on power for certain medical needs.
  • Plan for accessible transportation and know evacuation routes.
  • Evacuate as soon as possible to give extra time.
  • Identify reliable allies or caregivers who can assist you.
  • Create a plan together and practice the plan so everyone feels safe.
  • Carry communication devices, phrase cards, or picture boards.
  • Know how to replace assistive devices if lost or damaged.

Seasonal Safety Considerations

Shorter Daylight Hours: As we move into the fall season, daylight hours will begin to become shorter. Older adults should take caution as darkness can increase risks for falling or injuries. Make sure homes are well lit and light switches are accessible to reach. For nighttime, plug-in night lights are inexpensive and can be helpful for older adults who make nighttime trips to the bathroom.

Fluctuating Weather: Although California is known for pleasant temperatures year-round, the weather during fall can vary, especially in coastal or elevated regions. Older adults are more sensitive to cold and heat, so remember to dress in layers and having a jacket or coat.