State Police Encourages Older Americans, Families to Practice Emergency Preparedness; May is National Older Americans Month

Contact: Ron Leix, MSP/EMHSD Public Information Officer, 517-336-6464
Agency: State Police

May 19, 2015

LANSING. With President Barack Obama proclaiming May as Older Americans Month, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging older Americans and their families to practice emergency preparedness to ensure the safety and security of our eldest Michiganders.

“Being prepared for an emergency or disaster is important at every age,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Preparing for a disaster can be empowering for older Americans because it gives them the opportunity to identify what they need and ensures they will have those needs met when disaster strikes.”

The likelihood that older Americans and their families will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today.

Older Americans can prepare by:

  • Learning about the types of risks that could affect their area, making a personal preparedness plan and building an emergency supply kit.
  • Keeping specialized items ready, including extra hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, eyeglasses, food for service animals and any other items that may be essential.
  • Storing a list of important prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, treatment information and other documents in a waterproof container or on a USB flash drive.
  • Creating a personal support network of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers for assistance during an emergency.
  • Discussing special needs with a personal support network and making sure everyone knows how to operate necessary medical equipment.
  • Making sure family and friends know their evacuation plans and where they will go in case of an emergency or disaster.

For more information about emergency preparedness for older Americans, go to To learn more about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to

About National Older Americans Month

Since President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the first Senior Citizens Month, the prelude to Older Americans Month, May has been the time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons in our country. Every president since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking the entire nation to pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities.

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is responsible for coordinating state and federal resources to assist local government in response and relief activities in the event of an emergency or disaster, as well as coordinating homeland security initiatives and various federal grants.