When developing your emergency plan and building your emergency supply kit, it is important that you evaluate your individual needs. Individuals are unique and have diverse abilities. By making a plan and kit that fit your needs, you are increasing your likelihood of recovering from an emergency. Listed below are some measures individuals with disabilities and/or other access and functional needs can take to prepare for emergencies:
Create a support network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers. Discuss your needs with the people in your support network and let them know specifically how they may assist you in an emergency situation.
If you use medical equipment in your home, make sure the people in your support network know how to operate it. If your medical equipment requires electricity to operate, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to prepare for power outages.
In addition to the basic supplies in your emergency kit, there may be other items specific to your personal needs that you should also have on hand. These items may include, but are not limited to, extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, and food for service animals.
Make arrangements to receive emergency alert warnings if you have a sensory disability.
If you live or work in a high-rise building and have a mobility disability, find out if the facility has evacuation devices such as an escape chair. If this type of device is not available, talk to the facility owner or manager to inquire about the potential of procuring one.
Make arrangements for transportation to get to a shelter or evacuate an affected area if you do not have a car or if you have a mobility disability.
Where to find more information:
FEMA's Ready Campaign
National Organization on Disabilities - Emergency Preparedness Initiative