Every Family is unique and our life circumstances can change. Be
sure to update your emergency plans and kits to reflect your current
needs, even if the change is temporary.
Remember that people with long-term or temporary disabilities
must take a proactive approach to ensure that their safety needs
are included in all emergency planning. Those with physical disabilities
can have complications during emergency evacuations. Those with
visual, hearing or mental disabilities may have difficulty leaving
familiar surroundings. Others with medical conditions may be dependent
on devices or medications that need to travel with them.
To adequately prepare for possible emergencies, consider making
the following arrangements.
Build a Kit
||Make sure your emergency kit includes items specific to your
special needs such as eyeglasses, medication, oxygen, catheters,
food for service animals and batteries for necessary mechanical
Make a Plan
||Prepare any instructions you need to give rescuers or others
who may be around you. Practice giving concise verbal directions,
or carry written instructions with you at all times. If you
are physically disabled, study the evacuation procedure of
any building from which you might evacuate. If necessary, know
if and where an Evacuation Chair (EVAC+CHAIR) is located, and
ensure several others know how to operate it.
||Establish a personal support network where you
regularly spend time. Have at least three people at each location
that can give assistance. Teach them how to operate any necessary
equipment and where it is stored. Label equipment and attach
instructions as a backup.
|| If you use electrical equipment, plan how you
will deal with a power outage, for instance, keeping a manual
wheelchair for use if your electrical wheelchair becomes inoperable.
Consider having backup equipment stored at your evacuation
||In the case of an emergency, the specific needs of persons with disabilities are often varied and wide-ranging. Being aware of the emergency preparedness resources that are available to those with Special Needs can help you to better Build a Kit and Make a Plan that is customized to meet the needs of your Family.
For further information on Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities, visit The National
Organization on Disability.