Being prepared for emergencies
can reduce the fear, panic, and inconvenience that surrounds a disaster.
Check for hazards in the home.
During and right after a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause
injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause fire is a
home hazard. Check for items such as bookcases, hanging pictures, or
overhead lights that could fall in an earthquake or a flood and block an
Be ready to evacuate.
Have a plan for getting out of your home or building (ask your family or
friends for assistance, if necessary). Also, plan two evacuation routes
because some roads may be closed or blocked in a disaster.
Have disaster supplies on
Flashlight with extra batteries.
Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
aid kit and manual.
Emergency food and water.
electric can opener.
and credit cards
Maintain a list of the
following important items and store it with the emergency supplies. Give
a copy to another family member and a friend or neighbor.
Special equipment and supplies, e.g., hearing aid batteries
Current prescriptions names and dosages
addresses, and telephone numbers of doctors and pharmacist
Detailed information about the specifications of your medication
Create a self-help network
of relatives, friends or co-workers to assist in an emergency.
If you think you may need assistance in a disaster, discuss your
disability with relatives, friends, and co-workers and ask for their
help. For example, if you need help moving or require special
arrangements to receive emergency messages, make a plan with friends.
Make sure they know where you keep emergency supplies. Give a key to a
neighbor or friend who may be able to assist you in a disaster.
Contact your local
emergency information management office now.
Many local emergency management offices maintain registers of people
with disabilities so they can be located and assisted quickly in a
Wearing medical alert tags
or bracelets to identify your disability may help in case of an
Know the location and
availability of more than one facility if you are dependent on a
dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
If you have a severe
speech, language, or hearing disability:
you dial 9-1-1, tap space bar to indicate TDD call.
a writing pad and pencils to communicate with others.
- Keep a
flashlight handy to signal whereabouts to other people and for
illumination to aid in communication.
friends that you cannot completely hear warnings or emergency
instructions. Ask them to be your source of emergency information as
it comes over their radio.
- If you
have a hearing ear dog, be aware that the dog may become confused or
disoriented in an emergency. Store extra food, water and supplies
for your dog.
Planning for Evacuation
People with disabilities have the same choices as other community
residents about whether to evacuate their homes and where to go when an
emergency threatens. Listen to the advice of local officials. Decide
whether it is better to leave the area, stay with a friend or go to a
public shelter. Each of these decisions requires planning and
If you need a wheelchair:
Show friends how to operate your wheelchair so they can move you if
necessary. Make sure your friends know the size of your wheelchair in
case it has to be transported.