Disability Considerations for Disaster Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and given the weather situation, it is a good time to remind ourselves to think ahead and prepare now.

National Preparedness Month is a good time to learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid; check your insurance policies and coverage for flood, earthquakes, and tornados; replenish or stock go bags and other emergency supplies; create or review your disaster plans. When disaster strikes, it is important you have planned what steps to take and reviewed them with your family.

Our families have additional considerations when preparing for a disaster such as medical supplies, dietary needs, special clothing needs, sensory items, and items to entertain. 

 

Prepare in Advance

  • Have a plan for home fires, tornadoes, and flooding and share with your family, practice the necessary response steps

  • Familiarize your child with the fire alarm

  • Identify a meeting spot outside your home and in another city should evacuation be necessary

  • Make sure your will is updated 

  • Fill out a letter of intent for your child with special needs to outline your wishes and preferences for his or her care and provide key information about your child. 

  • Know how to shut off water and gas to the home

  • Gather a stockpile of supplies in case of water or gas outage or evacuation including a supply of water and food for three days, a Swiss Army knife, matches, blankets, flashlights, and an AM/FM radio with batteries and a first aid kit

  • Pack Go Bags for each family member that include a change of clothes, water, cash, copies of important paperwork, flashlights with batteries, non-perishable food,  and back up phone chargers

  • Have a supply of necessary medications, oxygen, and other equipment ready

  • Have a communication plan (who will get the children from school, how to get in touch if you get separated)

  • Create a communication board for the potential situation for any non-verbal or communication impaired individuals

  • Create a social story for potential situations to review with individuals who may get anxious or confused

 

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