People with disabilities and access and functional needs often need additional time and assistance to prepare for a disaster.
This page provides some quick, practical advice. More in-depth information and guidance can be accessed via the links at the bottom of this page.
To create an Emergency Plan that works for you, start with the NJOEM Basic Preparedness page and then follow the instructions below:
- Create a Personal Support Network of friends, family and neighbors who can assist in disaster preparation and getting you to a safe place.
- Conduct an Assessment of Your Personal Needs and resources, and of the types of help you will need in case of a power outage, evacuation or other emergency.
- Consider using Register Ready – New Jersey’s access and functional needs Registry for Disasters. (www.registerready.nj.gov)
- If you are electric-dependent, register with your Utility Company.
- Don't forget to create your Emergency Kit -pdf with the items that will keep you
self-sufficient for three days. Be sure to keep a stock of any medicines you need.
- Create a list of your Emergency Health Information including medication doses, necessary equipment and emergency contacts. Post a copy on your refrigerator, and keep a copy
with you at all times, especially during an evacuation.
- Tip: A medical alert tag or bracelet to identify your disability may be useful.
- Have an alternate means of communication, like a dry erase board or writing tablet and markers.
- Keep a flashlight, whistle or bell handy to signal your whereabouts to others.
- Don't forget to create your Personal Action Plan.-pdf
- Remind them to keep a record of the help you may need during an evacuation, power outage or other emergency.
- If you have a Personal Care Attendant, work with that person to decide how you will communicate with each other, such as by cell phone, if you are separated during an emergency.
- Identify multiple escape routes from home and work. Ask your employer to include you in its emergency plan and test these plans.
- Consider getting a medical alert system that will allow you to call for help if you are immobilized in an emergency. Most alert systems require a working phone line, so have a back up such
as a cell phone or pager if the landlines are disrupted.
- Learn about devices such as PDAs, text radio, pagers, etc. that can help you receive emergency instructions and warnings from local officials.
- When calling 911, tap the space bar to engage the TTD system.
- Remember: CERT training is available to everyone, no matter their age or level of physical ability. – Bergen and Mercer Counties have run CERT classes especially for
persons with disabilities
- For those who are electric dependent:
- For those who require caregivers and for those who are caregivers:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy751 - State of Florida
- http://www.caregivershome.com/news/article.cfm?UID=708 – from the Alzheimers Association
- http://www.homeandhospicecare.org/disaster/home.html - From Home and Hospice Care North Carolina
- United States Administration on Aging -
- Older Adults and Caregivers Texas A & M University -
- Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors -
- FEMA – People with Disabilities - http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/disabled.html
American Red Cross
- "Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities," a 46-page booklet for anyone who has a disability or who works with, lives with or assists a person with a disability.
Available on the NJOEM Web site
American Red Cross – Seniors
- Northeast Texas Public Health District compilation of 18 Emergency Preparedness Topics formatted to be friendly to
deaf, blind, and limited sight populations.
- "Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other access and functional needs," an 18-page booklet, available as
text. Also available in Spanish