Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs


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Fires, floods, and terrorist attacks pose a serious threat to the millions of Americans who have physical, medical, sensory, or cognitive problems. The elderly and other special-needs individuals face the same difficulty. When calamity comes, you must plan ahead to protect yourself and your family.

This handbook will assist you in getting started. Prepare an emergency plan with your family, friends, and/or your personal care attendant, as well as strangers. Post the plan where it will be seen by everyone, keep a copy with you, and make sure everyone participating in the plan has a copy.

When an emergency or tragedy happens, where will you, your family, friends, or personal care attendants be? You and those you love could be everywhere – at home, at work, at school, or on public transportation. What method will you use to locate each other? Will you be able to rest assured that your loved ones are safe?

Emergencies and calamities might strike unexpectedly, forcing you to evacuate your area or isolate yourself to your home. What would you do if you lost basic necessities such as water, gas, electricity, or telephones? After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they will not be capable of reaching everyone right away.

You are in the best position to prepare for your safety because you are knowledgeable about what to do during and after an emergency or a disaster situation. You can manage a disaster if you plan ahead of time with your family and caregivers.

You will need to create a personal support network and complete a personal assessment. You will also need to follow the four preparedness steps listed in this booklet. In addition, you must undertake the four readiness actions outlined in this booklet.

1. Get informed 2. Make a plan 3. Assemble a kit 4. Maintain your plan and kit.

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