Build A Kit for People with Disabilities
In addition to the General Emergency Kit, you should also prepare:
- At least a week-long supply of prescription medicines, along with a list of all medications, dosages, and any allergies
- Extra pair of eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries
- Extra wheelchair batteries and/or oxygen
- A list of the style and serial number of any medical devices. Include special instructions for operating your equipment if needed
- Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards
- Contact information for doctors, specialists, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt
TIPS FOR PEOPLE WITH SPEECH DISABILITY:
- If you use an augmentative communications device or other assistive technologies, plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if lost or destroyed. Keep Model information, where the equipment came from (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.)
- Plan how you will communicate with others if your equipment is not working, including laminated cards with phrases and/or pictogram.
Persons who need Behavior Support:
- Keep handheld electronic devices preloaded with movies and games (and spare batteries/chargers)
- Pack headphones to decrease auditory distractions
- Pack comfort snacks and toys.
- Sheets and twine or a small pop up tent (to decrease visual stimulation in a busy room or to provide instant privacy)
- Toys (to meet needs for stimulation)
- Remember children and adults with autism may be drawn to water. If you are facing a natural disaster with waters rising this quickly you will want to take extra precautions if you are not fully out of harm’s way.
- Make an emergency contact list – even if you have them in your phone, also write them down! Include names and numbers of everyone in your personal autism support network, as well as your medical providers, local law enforcement, emergency responders.
- Make sure your emergency information list notes any communication difficulties, including the the best way to communicate with you or your loved one with autism.
- Grab your IEP and any medical records or evaluations you may have on hand. Your IEP is a federal document and can help you settle your child in an alternate school setting more quickly if you have it on hand.
- Pack any needed Assisted Technology Devices and don’t forget the chargers! Just in case record the device name, manufacturer’s name & information, model and serial numbers, vendor (Store’s/Seller’s) name and info, date of purchase and copy of receipt if available, copy of Doctor’s or Therapist’s prescription if available and contact and funder’s (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance Co.) name, contact info, & policy numbers.
- iPads (and other medical equipment) that are used by someone with autism to communicate are covered under medical losses/disability equipment. During the intake call with FEMA, you may be asked about medical devices, and whether anyone is dependent on a computer or other equipment.
- If you regularly visit doctors or specialist for treatments or interventions or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Identify back-up service providers in the areas you might evacuate to. If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity to operate, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to prepare for its use during a power outage.
- If you have a service animal, be sure to include food, water, and collar with ID tag, medical records and other emergency pet supplies.
- During an emergency quick and unanticipated changes in routine and environment can cause increased anxiety and stress for people with autism. If staying in a shelter bring headphones or earplugs to help with noise. You may also consider bringing a roll of duct tape to place labels, visual support or even lay out visible perimeters of your family’s assigned “space” in a communal style shelter.
- At least a week-long supply of prescription medicines, along with a list of all medications, dosage, and any allergies
- Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries
- Extra wheelchair batteries (manual wheelchair if possible) and/or oxygen
- A list of the style and serial number of medical devices. Include special instructions for operating your equipment if needed.
- Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards
- Contact information for doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.
- Pet food, extra water, collar with ID tag, medical records and other supplies for your service animal
- Handheld electronic devices loaded with movies and games (and spare chargers), headphones to decrease auditory distractions, and comfort snacks and toys that meet needs for stimulation.
Think about all of the plans, services, devices, tools and techniques you use to live with a disability on a daily basis when you are getting ready for an emergency. You may need medications, sturdy medical equipment, useable medical supplies, your service animal, assistive technology, communications tools, disability service providers, housing that you can get to, transportation and health-related items.
- Create a support group to help you plan for an emergency. Think of having family, neighbors, friends, people who give services to you, faith-based and community groups in your group. Tell these people where you keep your emergency supplies. Give at least one of these people a key to your house or apartment.
- Call your city or county government’s emergency management office. Work with them to use their emergency planning tools.
- If you get dialysis or other life-sustaining medical treatment, know and list the location and availability of more than one place. Work with your doctor to have a personal emergency plan.
- Show others how to use your wheelchair or other assistive equipment.
- Keep contact information for local independent living centers and other disability services groups in a safe and easy-to-access place. Look over and update any details that you give to any groups or service provider about your functional needs and what you may need in an emergency.
- Work with those in-home support groups (Meals-on-Wheels, Life Alert, etc.) to make an emergency preparedness plan that meets your needs. Keep in contact with them during and after an emergency. Being able to speak to them may be your lifeline to other services in a disaster.
- Work with local transportation and disability services (e.g., Paratransit, Independent Living Centers) to plan ahead for a way (car, bus, van, etc.) to leave your home during/after an emergency.
- Make back-up plans for help (hospice or other types of in-home help) for your needs.
During an emergency, you may need to tell to fire fighters, police and medical staff that you need to leave your home and shelter with your family, service animal, caregiver or personal assistance provider. This will help them to give you the help you need to keep your health, safety and independence.