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For Persons with Disabilities

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Preparing for disasters includes preparing for our loved ones, co-workers or neighbors who may have special needs. It is important to remember those around us who may need assistance in coping with the effects of a disaster or major emergency.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Identify, develop and maintain information and resources needed to help you deal with a disaster when it happens.
  • Do not depend on only one person. Include a minimum of three people in a network for each location where you regularly spend a lot of time.
  • Agree on how you and your network will contact each other during an emergency. Do not depend solely on working phones.
  • If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information list describes the best way to communicate with you.
  • Keep important medication, equipment, and assistive devices in consistent, convenient, and secured places. Stock up on emergency food and water.
  • Have some kind of signaling device (e.g., whistle, beeper, bell, etc.) which can be used to call for help in an emergency.
  • Plan in advance. If you have to leave your home or workplace, you may need someone's help to evacuate safely, especially down stairwells.
  • Advocate for yourself. Practice how to quickly explain to people the best way to guide or move you and your adaptive equipment, safely and rapidly.
  • Choose an alternative place to stay, such as with friends, family, or at a hotel/motel outside your area if you are told to leave your home.
  • Remember some utility companies offer a " priority reconnection service " for people with disabilities who use power-dependant equipment.

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