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Emergency Preparedness

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Emergency preparedness is the preparation and planning necessary to effectively handle an emergency. It includes developing a plan, knowing what to do and having the right resources on hand. Emergencies can include pandemics, terrorist attacks, floods, power outages, hurricanes, blizzards and tornados.

Emergency planning and preparation are even more important for people with disabilities because you might need additional communication, transportation, or medical support to make sure that you are safe during an emergency.

Your plan should be written, stored in a safe place, and copies given to care givers, family members and other relevant people. You can find a guide for creating an emergency plan especially designed for people with disabilities at www.ready.gov or www.prepare.org.

Here are some tips for creating your plan and being prepared for an emergency.

  1. Learn about what kinds of disasters could happen where you live, work or go to school. What will the impact be on the environment and the resources you need such as electricity?
  2. Create a network of people who can help you, including family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Make an emergency contact list of these people and also include the names and numbers of out-of-town contacts.
  3. Make sure your medical needs can be met by (a) creating a medical information list with information about your medical needs and (b) keeping a seven-day supply of all medications on hand.
  4. Identify evacuation routes and safe places to go in case of an emergency.
  5. Keep a disaster preparedness kit in all the places you spend your time, such as home, car and work. The kit should include water, food, a first aid kit, adaptive equipment, batteries and supplies for your pets or service animals.

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