Answering Your Questions: Disabilities, How to Plan

I have a disability. Is there any special emergency planning I should do?





If you have a disability or special need, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and family in case of an emergency. If you know of friends or neighbors with special needs help educate them as well


Hearing impaired: Make special arrangements to receive warnings of impending disasters. This may include:

  1. Asking a friend to call, text you

  2. Purchasing an alert device: Alarm clocks Smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, doorbell signalers, Phone signalers, etc. Also available are All Hazards Radios that are programmable with state/country selections that screen out alerts from other areas and can be battery-operated and portable for use at home, work, school, or while traveling.

  3. Store a good supply of batteries for alert devices.

  4. Have paper and pencils/pens with you at all times and in cars, office, all kits, etc. so you are prepared to communicate.

  5. Register with the office of emergency services or fire department, in a disaster they will be aware of your needs and check on you.

  6. Service dogs are allowed in shelters. Create a list of shelter locations now and arrange for transportation of your service animal and you to a shelter or home of a family member. Remember while the service animal is allowed there will not be food for them at a shelter and/or home of someone else where you may evacuate. Have food, a leash, medications and food and water dishes easily available to take to a shelter with you.

  7. If you are a caregiver for a person with special needs, make sure you have a plan to communicate if an emergency occurs.

Mobility impaired:

  1. Ask a friend to check on you when a disaster is forecast or once a disaster occurs.

  2. Make a modified emergency kit. Get a fishing vest with lots of pockets that you can wear and still maneuver your wheel chair or walker.

  3. Arrange furniture so you can quickly get to a door to exit.

  4. Purchase a light weight chair for evacuation. this will not replace a wheel chair but can help you exit the building quickly with the help of others if the elevator is not available.

  5. Evacuate early, really early. Those you depend on for help will also need to help themselves and their family when the order comes to evacuate.

  6. Practice evacuating, grabbing your kits and getting yourself out to the place someone will pick you up.

  7. Make those who you will help you evacuate familiar with all the exits from your building. Walk thru those exits with them so they will not have to guess what exit strategy is best when time is limited.

  8. Register with the office of emergency services or fire department so in a disaster they will be aware of your needs and check on you.

  9. Service dogs are allowed in shelters. Create a list of shelter locations now and arrange for transportation of your service animal and you to a shelter or home of a family member. Remember while the service animal is allowed there will not be food for them at a shelter and/or home of someone else where you may evacuate. Have food, a leash, medications and food and water dishes easily available to take to a shelter with you.

  10. If you are a caregiver for a person with special needs, make sure you have a plan to communicate if an emergency occurs.

  11. Keep extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, or other items you might need. Smaller items can be kept in your fishing vest kit. Keep a list of the type and serial numbers of medical devices you need in your vest.

What suggestions do you have?




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