Seniors and people with disabilities may need to take additional steps to prepare for emergencies. If you or someone in your household has special needs, consider the following tips when preparing your disaster plans:
- Keep a seven to 14 day supply of necessary medications on hand at all times.
- Develop a personal emergency plan for each place where you spend time – at home, work, school, and in the community.
- Evaluate your capabilities, limitations, needs, and surroundings to determine what type of support you may need in an emergency. Include your home care attendant and other people in your network in your planning process.
- If you are dependent on electricity for your wheelchair, breathing machine, or any other life-sustaining device, plan for a loss of power. Consult your power provider.
- The hearing impaired may need to make special arrangements to make sure they receive emergency warnings.
- Mobility impaired people may need assistance to get to a shelter or to evacuate from buildings. Keep in mind elevators will not work in a power outage.
- Technologically dependent people should check in with 9-1-1 or their doctors.
- People with special dietary needs should have an adequate emergency food supply.
- It is a good idea to write down your support needs and numbers. Medical conditions, medications and dosages, allergies, special equipment, medical insurance, Medicare insurance cards as well as personal and medical contact details are important to have available. Keep this list with you in emergencies and supply a friend with a copy.
- If you have a service animal, make sure that it is registered for a service tag.
What else you can do to prepare your household for emergencies:
- Take a first-aid class to learn how to help family and neighbors if they are injured.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all areas of your home and check them regularly to make sure they are working.
- Install fire extinguishers in your home and make sure all household members know where they are and how to use them.
- Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check on emergency supplies twice a year during daylight-saving times.