Things are getting critical for the very vulnerable.
I have been reading through the blogs and social media. Now you have to take everything you read with a grain of salt because there is a lot of bad data, false data, and misleading data out there. But one thing is becoming clear. Katrina showed us how hard hit the elderly and disabled are in such an emergency. This is even more the case when you are dealing with apartments and high rises without power.
In the U.S., 13.3% of the population is 65 and over. In some of the most affected areas, the elderly make up a larger than average percentage of the population. Ocean County, New Jersey, for example, has 133,819 people over 65 in a population of 578,728 (23%), presumably because a lot of retirees go to live on the beach. But other hard-hit areas are more average age-wise. New York County has just 13% of its population over 65.
Mayor Bloomberg Warns Of Hypothermia Threat. The elderly and disabled are especially vulnerable to Hypothermia
Then there is the question of water in the high rises and apartments. I
Some tenants who remember past electric outages filled up bathtubs and pots in anticipation of the storm. However, after five days, the water they saved is running out.
If you used something like the waterBOB you started Sandy with around 100 gallons of water in your bathtub.
If you just filled up the tub you have around 50 gallons of water to work with.
The average family of four can use 400 gallons of water every day, and, on average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors.
At 8 pounds per gallon — to drink, wash or flush. For an elderly, frail person, carrying 8 pounds up 10 or 20 flights or even two flights of stairs is impossible. If you ration down to one gallon per person per day that is still 32 pounds for a family of four per day.
When you add dehydration and hyperthermia together you have impacts on Movement Patterns and Cognition
So taken all together it is likely that each day of no heat and reduced water intake will have increasingly negative effects on the elderly, and disabled who are restricted to upper floors in multi-story buildings without water and power.