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Letter: Elderly may need help during storms

Volunteers go door to door in the Meltzer

Volunteers go door to door in the Meltzer Towers Housing Project giving out food and water to elderly and disabled residents in New York City. (Nov. 2, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Government officials and emergency managers have done a wonderful job getting their messages out ["Nor'easter wallops LI," News, Nov. 8], but a large number of older people may not be able to receive messages about the need to evacuate or to get updates on the status of storms.

We all think how much easier it is to communicate through computers. But it is estimated that more than half of people older than 80 do not have a computer, cellphone or access to the Web. In addition, hearing loss may limit their ability to use the telephone or the radio.

A low-tech solution is for public officials to include a reminder in their messages that some neighbors or family are unable to get up-to-date information. Officials could ask people to reach out.

We must also have transportation available for those who do not drive, so they can get to shelters or pick up food and supplies.

Joel D. Ziev, Port Washington

Editor's note: The writer is the director of Partners for Access, an advocacy organization for people with disabilities.