Before an Emergency…
Two actions that you can take to become better prepared to protect yourself and your family are to develop an emergency plan and prepare a portable cache of emergency supplies that can be used at home or at work.
Keep an eye on your neighbors and be prepared to lend a helping hand. Look out for your fellow students with temporary and permanent disabilities.
If possible, get a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio to monitor severe weather.
Those With Special Needs
Individuals who have special needs often require more detailed planning before a disaster or emergency strikes. Consider taking the following actions now:
- Learn what to do in case of a power outage. Know how to connect and start a back-up power supply for essential medical equipment.
- Consider purchasing a medical alert system that will allow you to call for help if you are immobilized in an emergency. Because most alert systems require a phone line, consider owning a cell phone or pager, in case regular landlines are disrupted.
- If you use an electric wheelchair or scooter, keep a manual wheelchair for back-up.
- Teach those who may need to assist you how to operate necessary equipment.
- Label and attach laminated instructions to your equipment.
- Store back-up equipment such as mobility, medical, etc. at a neighbor’s home, school or your work place.
- If you are vision impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing, and if you are unable to use the TV or radio, plan for someone to convey emergency information to you.
- If you use a personal care attendant, check to see if the employing agency has special provisions for emergency, such as providing services at another location if an evacuation is ordered.
- If you live in an apartment, ask management to identify and mark accessible exits and areas designated for emergency shelters or safe rooms. Ask about plans for alerting and evacuating those with sensory disabilities.
- Have a cell phone with an extra battery. Keep numbers you may need to call nearby If the 9-1-1 emergency number is overloaded.
- Learn about devices and other technology such as PDAs, text radio, and pagers to assist you in receiving emergency instructions and warning from local officials.