Disaster preparedness is important for the whole community, especially those with access and functional needs and potentially vulnerable populations, such as older adults, children and those who are non-English speaking. A little advance planning will go a long way ff you or your family member(s) require assistance and/or devices to maintain independence, communicate, obtain transportation services or require daily medical care.
Here are some additional items of consideration for your disaster preparedness kit:
- Copies of medical prescriptions, doctors’ orders, and the style and serial numbers of the assistive devices you use
- At least a week’s supply of any medication or medical supplies you use regularly, or as much as you can keep on hand.
- Medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions of your disability and support needs, in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency.
- Medical insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, physician contact information, list of your allergies and health history.
- A list of the local non-profit or community-based organizations that know you or assist people with access and functional needs similar to yours.
- Extra eyeglasses; backup supplies for any visual aids you use.
- Extra batteries for hearing aids; extra hearing aids if you have them (or if you have insurance coverage for them).
- Battery chargers for motorized wheelchairs, or other battery-operated medical/assistive technology devices.
- Supplies for your service animal. You can find more tips at http://www.ready.gov/animals.
- A laminated personal communication board, if you might need assistance with being understood or understanding others.
- If you have allergies or chemical sensitivities, be sure to include items that you are able to use for personal hygiene and for cleanup.
- Consider having your finances, benefits or other income direct deposit into your account so that cashing a check won’t be a challenge during a disaster.
Here are other valuable websites with more information about disaster planning for those with access and functional needs: