COOKEVILLE – The Upper Cumberland Area Agency on Aging and Disability (UCAAAD) has partnered with local Walgreens locations in the region to educate seniors on emergency preparedness.
The program Senior P.R.E.P. (Planning and Resources for Emergency Preparedness) includes individual stores in Cookeville, Crossville, Jamestown, Livingston, McMinnville and Sparta. Seniors can find P.R.E.P. information at Walgreens locations each Senior Day, held on the first Tuesday of every month.
The Senior P.R.E.P. program encourages individuals to organize an emergency kit and an emergency plan, as well as provides resources to aid seniors and caregivers in the planning process. Each Senior Day, seniors can purchase emergency kit items and benefit from Walgreens’ Senior Day discounts.
During an upcoming Senior Day, Tuesday, June 7, Senior P.R.E.P. is holding a donation drive for three emergency preparedness items: toothbrushes, small first aid kits and hand sanitizers. Individuals can make donations at each participating Upper Cumberland Walgreens location from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Donated items will be distributed to seniors throughout the UC by UCAAAD staff through the Senior P.R.E.P. program.
To promote the donation drive, Zimmer Broadcasting radio station trucks will be located at each of the Cookeville Walgreens locations. Seniors visiting the Cookeville Walgreens locations can also enter to win an emergency preparedness starter bag at the Senior P.R.E.P. display tables.
Through Senior P.R.E.P., UCAAAD staff hope to educate seniors and caregivers on life-saving steps to take in preparing for various disasters. Senior P.R.E.P. brochures provide information about emergency tips, items that should be included in an emergency preparedness bag/kit, how to prepare for individuals with disabilities, planning tips for pets, information about shelters and contact information for assistance during a disaster.
The Senior P.R.E.P. program began in the UC following the 2015 ice storm, which left nearly 40,000 customers without power, some for up to three weeks. Emergency personnel discovered many seniors were left ill-equipped to handle the crisis.
“We hope to raise awareness about the need to plan ahead for disasters and provide resources that make the planning process easier for seniors and caregivers,” Jessica Pruett, UCAAAD disaster preparedness coordinator, said. “Practical tips such as keeping a list of emergency contact numbers, discussing your emergency plan with loved ones, maintaining a list of all medications, prescriptions and dosages along with thoughtfully organizing basic supplies in an emergency kit are tips that can save lives.”
Tennessee is the first state to adopt such a program, which was designed by South Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging to spread nation-wide.
For questions or to make supply donations to the Senior P.R.E.P. program, contact Pruett at (931) 476-4157. The UCAAAD is a division of the Upper Cumberland Development District.