Special Planning Consideration
Even though each person's capabilities and needs may be different, there are steps that can be taken to prepare for all types of disasters. You will need to take into consideration how an emergency may affect you, your family, and friends. By assessing personal needs, an emergency plan can be developed to fit individual needs.
Regardless of your age or physical limitations, you still need to prepare yourself and your home for a potential emergency situation. Be sure to review the other areas of the Before The Storm section for general preparedness advice, and then note the information below which is geared to people with disabilities.
- Disability Preparedness Resource Center
Plan Ahead & Prepare
Assemble your Emergency Supply Kit and also consider including:
- A few days supply of any medications you take, along with a copy of the dosage instructions
- Stored medications need to be handled correctly and refreshed regularly
- It is not necessary to store an entire refill of medicines; a one-week supply should be adequate in the event you are not able to reach a pharmacy
- Extra eyeglasses, hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries (since charging may not be an option; but keep in mind that your outside mobility may also be limited), oxygen (if you use it), other items you use which are "consumable" and which you would need a supply of should you be cut off from support for a few days.
One Storm ™ is an excellent site that allows you to create your emergency kit online, and then builds a shopping list for you. It also keeps track of personal info, medications, pet descriptions and needs, and much more. Very user friendly.
Prepare your personal resources
- Post a list of relatives and medical professionals who should be contacted if someone comes to your aid. Place this near the telephone, on the refrigerator door, or in another conspicuous location.
- If you have an in-home health care service, talk with your provider about the agency's procedures for support immediately before and after an emergency situation.
- Plan to have any specialized equipment or assistive devices which you use (or may need in the absence of professional assistance) available and handy.
- Consider any special transportation needs you may have, should you need to evacuate your home.
- Work with your neighbors to arrange for someone to check on you (when safe) during an emergency situation. But DON'T depend upon this as your only line of support - you must be able to be self-sufficient if you intend to remain at home during a disaster.
- Teach those who may come to your aid (family, friends, neighbors) how to operate any necessary equipment and how to render any specialized help you may need.
Special Needs Survey
Do you, or someone living in your home, take medications or require special medical care in the event of an emergency?
- By providing the following information, Northampton County emergency workers will know about the special health care, emergency sheltering, and other needs in your community. Vital information will be available should the county experience an emergency. All information submitted is confidential. If more than one person in your home has special physical or mental impairments, please fill out a separate form for each person. Please renew this person’s information yearly.
If You Need to Evacuate
The decision to evacuate is one that you must make as early as possible. Local officials may order either Voluntary or Mandatory evacuations.
If your home is in a Mandatory evacuation area, then you need to leave immediately, according to the instructions of local officials.
If your home is in the Voluntary evacuation area, then you need to decide if it is safe for you to remain. If you have any doubts about your ability to care for yourself for a period of several days without outside assistance, then evacuate early.
- Coordinate with your home care provider for evacuation procedures.
- Try to car pool if possible.
- Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes.
- Take your Emergency Supplies Kit.
- Lock your home.
- Use the travel routes specified or special assistance provided by local officials. Don't take any short cuts, they may be unsafe.
- Notify shelter authorities of any need you may have. They will do their best to accommodate you and make you comfortable.
- Remember that shelters are designed to be a temporary, safe haven and are not known for "plush" accommodations. You will need to bring with you whatever personal supplies you might need.
- See also Quick Safety Tips - Leaving Home/Evacutation
If You Are Sure You Have Enough Time . . .
- Shut off water, gas and electricity if instructed to do so and if you know how. Gas must be turned back on by a professional.
- Let others know when you left and where you are going.
- Make arrangements for pets. Animals other than service dogs may not be allowed in public shelters.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Make sure you have a written list with the phone numbers for the following:
- Local emergency services number
- Ambulance 9-1-1
- Nearest relative
- Local contact
- Out of state contact
- Local Red Cross Chapter