AARP Virgin Islands and the Virgin Islands Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster , the St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group, the St. Thomas Recovery Team, and Love City Strong non-profit organizations have collaborated to donate 1,000 emergency preparedness kits to Virgin Islands seniors in need territory-wide. This effort is the beginning of an ongoing project to help seniors prepare for a natural disaster.
With assistance from the V.I. Department of Human Services Senior Citizens Affairs Division, AARP VI was able to identify seniors who would need assistance for any type of emergency. All of the collaborators donated basic emergency supplies to help seniors get started with their kits. The kits included flashlights, a first aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, dust masks, moist towelettes, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, an emergency blanket and toilet paper. The VI DHS Senior Citizens Affairs Division helped to prepare the kits and are distributing the kits territory-wide to seniors in need that participate in their different programs.
Tips were also shared to reinforce that planning and preparing for one’s own personal needs today can help seniors and their families recover from an emergency tomorrow. Troy Schuster, AARP Virgin Islands state director, said, “Our hope is for the information and items shared in these kits will help not only Virgin Islands seniors but also their family members and caregivers to be prepared. We should all have a plan on what you need to do before, during and after, in the event a disaster strikes. Having a plan and basic essentials organized in a kit or stored in a central location for easy access does help.”
This year, there is the additional concern about staying healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some tips for emergency disaster preparations remain the same, there are new emergency guidelines and things to consider. Planning and preparing can make a big difference in safety and resiliency in the wake of a hurricane, earthquake or any other natural disaster.
AARP VI will continue to collaborate with community partners to expand its outreach around disaster preparedness for Virgin Islanders, especially the 50+ population, to continue to provide valuable information and resources for the community.
For more information on this VI Emergency Preparedness Kit Project and future projects, call AARP VI at 713-2002.