AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nearly a year after the area’s historic winter storm, many are still dealing with the trauma. That includes many older people in our community. Ahead of the next storm, the Aging Services Council of Central Texas is asking for your help to build emergency survival kits for older people in our area.

“I’ve been in nonprofit for 20 years and that event was probably one of the most traumatizing I’ve experienced,” said Stephanie Lane, executive director of Drive a Senior-ATX and co-chair of the Aging Services Council, a coalition of community leaders who help older people in Central Texas during a crisis.

“We had one gentleman who was eating his cat food because he ran out of food,” Lane said. “There was another elderly person who she was freezing and the only thing that was keeping her from being warm and she couldn’t reach her blankets on the top shelf in her laundry room.”

Providing older Texans assistance during a disaster

During the freeze, the Aging Services Council worked together to provide assistance to older Austinites.

“The snow melted, we got together and we thought, hey, you know, we’re large enough force to make a big impact to help address this in the future,” Lane said.

Each kit contains around a dozen items, including food, flashlights, batteries, water and blankets. “Basically, something to keep you fed something to keep you warm and something to keep you lit.”

The council is hoping to put together 500 kits that will be distributed later this month. They’re hoping to have the supplies they need for the kits by Jan. 21.

“We just put the basics to keep somebody alive for three days. And then there are instructions to check it every new year. You check your food to make sure anything expired gets removed, and new items get added.”

The Aging Services Council is assembling emergency kits for older Austinites (Courtesy: Stephanie Lane)

Last November, Drive-A-Senior ATX, Lane’s nonprofit that provides transportation to older Austinites, assembled the first batch of kits. They delivered 100 kits at the time. The Aging Services Council is using the same model to assemble and deliver the kits.

How you can help assemble emergency kits

The Aging Services Council needs your help to assemble the emergency kits. You can find the Amazon Wishlist for the emergency kits here.