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In Arlington, officials prepare seniors for emergencies

Saturday - 5/17/2014, 2:55pm  ET

Emergency preparedness (WTOP/Michelle Murillo)
In this so-called "Go Kit" is first aid material, glow stick, water, and a blanket. (WTOP/Michelle Murillo)

WASHINGTON -- When it came to making sure the residents of Arlington are prepared for an emergency, the Emergency Management Office realized they had a problem.

"How to reach the vulnerable population that we're not reaching via social media or any technological outlets," says Arlington Emergency Management Public Information Officer Grelia Soliz.

One of the specific groups is seniors, who often are not on social media or technologically savvy enough to find the information they need online. Seniors are also usually the population that needs the most assistance during an emergency.

So, the Emergency Management Office used a tried-and-true method to get the word out.

"We saw that there was a lack of communication between us and our residents," Soliz continues, "and so we said lets go door to door, get boots on the ground, and hit the streets by visiting them and getting the message to them."

On Saturday, 12 FEMA Corps and retiree volunteers did just that. They canvassed the Carlin Independent Living Facility to ask people if they are ready for emergencies.

"Do you have a plan to reach your family in an emergency?", one volunteer asked. "Do you have an emergency preparedness kit?"

Each apartment received a so-called "Go Kit" to keep seniors prepared for emergencies.

Inside the container was a small first aid kit, glow stick, water, blanket and information on things they should do to be ready.

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