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Disaster Preparedness Resources

Seniors make up nearly 75% of mortality rates in Florida’s natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, and wildfires. View to see upcoming events, distributions, etc.

Sarasota Disaster Preparedness Expo

Wednesday, June 26, 2024 | 9AM – 12PM | 1888 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota, FL  34236

  • Featured Speakers:
  • Richard Kerkering, Sarasota City Emergency Management; topics include evacuation zones, transportation program, medical needs program, disaster kits.
  • Andrew Svilokos, Sarasota County Emergency Management; topics include forecasts for the 2024 hurricane season and recommended preparation for residents.
  • Kelly Ward and Sue Berger, Florida Department of Health; discussion includes the role of fall prevention in disaster preparedness and safe evacuation. 
  • Jennifer Hiles, RPh, Sarasota Memorial Hospital; topics include refrigerated medication preparation for potential power outages, medication essentials, and first aid kits.
  • Alia Garrett, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) – discussion includes developing heat emergency plans hydration, and cooling strategies
  • Mike Modrick, ABC-7 – how hurricane computer systems operate, tracking hurricanes.
  • Featured Community Resources: Sarasota County Breeze Transit, AARP, Jacob Gilliam Tree Care, Hear Again America, Archwell, Elite Health, Mallard Perez, Renewed Life Wellness, Estate Registry, Alignment Health Plans. 

Upcoming Hurricane Kit Distributions in partnership with FPL

SARASOTA

  • Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
  • Start time:   After 12:15 p.m. 
  • Event Location:  Senior Friendship Centers, 1888 Brother Geenen Way, FL 34236

ARCADIA

  • Date: Monday, June 24, 2024
  • Start time:   10 a.m.
  • Event Location:  114 N Polk Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266

VENICE

  • Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2024
  • Start time:   7:30 a.m. 
  • End time:   11 a.m. 
  • Event Location:  Senior Friendship Centers, 2350 Scenic Dr, Venice, FL 34293


[Sarasota, FL, May 31, 2024] – Senior Friendship Centers (SFC) offers disaster preparedness resources this June in Southwest Florida, including Sarasota, Desoto, Lee, and Charlotte counties, to prepare seniors for upcoming disasters.

Seniors make up nearly 75% of mortality rates in Florida’s natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, and wildfires. Two-thirds of the deaths from Hurricane Ian in Southwest Florida were seniors, echoing a tragic pattern seen over the years, where older adults comprised two-thirds of those who perished in Hurricane Katrina and more than half of those who died in Hurricane Sandy.

“Seniors are disproportionately affected during natural disasters due to mobility challenges, chronic health conditions, transportation limitations, and social isolation,” says Erin McLeod, CEO of Senior Friendship Centers. “Many older adults live on fixed incomes, making relocation and stocking up on essentials difficult, while limited internet access further impedes their ability to stay informed. It’s crucial for our community to unite and provide support to older adults, ensuring that they receive the resources and assistance needed to stay safe.”

For those homebound seniors or isolated seniors, SFC’s Friendship at Home (FAH) program provides invaluable support to homebound senior clients during times of crises, such as hurricanes. This program ensures that vulnerable seniors receive regular check-ins, reassurance calls, and emergency food and supply bags. Contact (941) 955 2122 for more information.

In addition to the ongoing efforts, SFC has partnered with organizations such as the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida (AASWFL) and Florida Power and Light (FPL) to distribute meal kits and hurricane supply kits, addressing the overwhelming task experienced by seniors during disaster preparedness. Sign up for Senior Friendship Centers’ email list at friendshipcenters.org to stay updated on these distributions.

Senior Friendship Centers has also organized a series of upcoming events to empower the community with knowledge, resources, and practical guidance for disasters. These events include:

For more information about our events, Friendship at Home program, or other services, call (941) 955-2122 or  visit our website at www.friendshipcenters.org

Sarasota Disaster Preparedness Expo

Wednesday, June 26, 2024 | 9AM – 12PM | 1888 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota, FL  34236

  • Featured Speakers:
  • Richard Kerkering, Sarasota City Emergency Management; topics include evacuation zones, transportation program, medical needs program, disaster kits.
  • Andrew Svilokos, Sarasota County Emergency Management; topics include forecasts for the 2024 hurricane season and recommended preparation for residents.
  • Kelly Ward and Sue Berger, Florida Department of Health; discussion includes the role of fall prevention in disaster preparedness and safe evacuation. 
  • Jennifer Hiles, RPh, Sarasota Memorial Hospital; topics include refrigerated medication preparation for potential power outages, medication essentials, and first aid kits.
  • Alia Garrett, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) – discussion includes developing heat emergency plans hydration, and cooling strategies
  • Mike Modrick, ABC-7 – how hurricane computer systems operate, tracking hurricanes.
  • Featured Community Resources: Sarasota County Breeze Transit, AARP, Jacob Gilliam Tree Care, Hear Again America, Archwell, Elite Health, Mallard Perez, Renewed Life Wellness, Estate Registry, Alignment Health Plans. 

For more information about our events, Friendship at Home program, or other services, call (941) 955-2122 or  visit our website at www.friendshipcenters.org

For media inquiries, please e-mail [email protected] or [email protected] or call (828) 215 4018.

About Senior Friendship Centers: The mission of Senior Friendship Centers is to build vibrant communities by advancing wellness, connection, and enrichment throughout the journey of aging. Since 1973 this organization has served people 50 and older in Sarasota, Charlotte, DeSoto, and Lee Counties with programs and services including activity centers, lifelong learning, dining centers and meals delivered to the homebound, caregiver support, adult day services, supportive aging services, and volunteer opportunities. For more information about Senior Friendship Centers, call (941) 955-2122 or visit www.friendshipcenters.org

Past events:

Venice Hurricane Preparedness Workshop 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 | 1PM-3PM | 2350 Scenic Drive Venice, FL 34293

  • Featured Community Resources: Alignment Health, Archwell Health, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida Department of Health, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Lifelink of FL/HCA FL Doctors Hospital, Public Works City of Venice, Sarasota County Communications, Sarasota County Emergency Management, Senior Living Selections, Siesta Key and Health Rehab, The Estate Registry, UF/IFAS Extension, United Way

Desoto Hurricane Preparedness Event

Wednesday, June 12 | 4 PM – 6 PM | Team Arcadia McSwain Center 16 S. Volusia Ave, Arcadia, FL 34236

Friday, June 14 | 10 AM – 12 PM | Oakview Estates 2552 NE Turner Ave, Arcadia, FL 34236

  • Featured Speakers: 
  • Jennifer Bowes, Habitat for Humanity; topics include available resources with Habitat for Humanity
  • Holly Layport and Burgundy Omar, Desoto County Habitat for Humanity; discussion includes the process of hurricane recovery
  • Annie Barbour & Julitza Perez, United Policyholders – discussion includes the process of claim and counseling.
  • Amanda Sala, Family Air – discussion includes pre- and post-preparation for AC units for disaster preparedness 
  • Hurricane Essential Items for Drawings: 7 in 1 multi-functional frequency radios, solar charging flashlights, battery-powered fans