The best time to prepare for an emergency is well ahead of time. When you prepare from a position of safety and calm, you and can better cope with an emergency or disaster situation when it happens. An emergency or disaster may present unique challenges for people with disabilities and special needs. If you or someone you care for has a disability or special need, you may have to take additional steps to prepare yourself and your family, so it is best to review special actions for Emergency Preparedness.
Here's what you need to get ready for an emergency or disaster:
- Form a Personal Support Network & Have an Emergency Plan Before Disaster Strikes: These are the people you should involve in your emergency planning and can help you in an emergency situation. Most importantly, you should not rely on just one person, but have at least three or more people you can call on for help.
- Complete a Personal Assessment: Make a list of your personal needs and your resources for meeting support network in a disaster environment.
- Maintain a Disaster Kit: When a disaster strikes, it pays to be prepared. Having a disaster kit will save you time and could save your life. A disaster kit should be placed in your designated shelter and it may also be helpful to have a smaller version in a small backpack or other container that easily may be carried if you need to evacuate your home. Disaster kits should be reviewed annually to kept up-to-date.
- Be Informed: Know about the specific hazards that threaten your community (winter storms, tornadoes, flooding, etc.), by knowing accessing your state's Weather Awareness Events Calendar and learn about community warning systems.
- Make Use of Technology to Receive Weather Information: Technology provides multiple avenues to receive weather hazard information. NOAA All-Hazards Radio have been modernized with adaptors to provide alerts to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. There are a wealth of weather applications available on cell phone and tablets that send alerts via SMS and visual alerts. PC-based applications also exists that provide RSS feeds and visual alerts.