Preparedness for People With Disabilities
disaster supplies kit contains food, water, tools, and
other things you and your service animal will need immediately
after a disaster strikes. Your kit should have enough
food and water supplies to sustain you and those you
live with for at least three days, preferably seven
days or more.
You do not need to collect all the items for
your disaster supplies kit all at once. First, pick
out the supplies you already have and put them in your
kit. Next, as you plan your weekly or monthly budget,
try to include a few items for your kit. See the Disaster
Supplies Calendar, Appendix B,for a suggested weekly
shopping list. Talk with your personal physician about
how you can collect and store a seven-day supply of
necessary prescription medications.
are different types of disaster supplies kits you should
assemble. Combine the following kits as you need them,
and store them somewhere that is easy for you to get
disaster supplies kit (includes a first aid kit)
Portable disaster supplies kit
Disaster supplies kit for your car
Disability-related supplies and special equipment
Service animal and pet supplies
Disaster Supplies Kit
a disaster supplies kit that contains your basic disaster
supplies for home and your disability-related supplies.
You should keep enough basic supplies to maintain you
in your home for at least three days, preferably seven
or more. Supplies you need related to your disability
should last a minimum of seven days. Remember any special
dietary needs you may have when planning your disaster
food supplies. Refer to Appendix A, for a list of basic
Aid Kit: Put together a first aid kit. This
will go in your basic disaster supplies kit. Include
an American Red Cross first aid textbook. Enclose sanitary
supplies, extra glasses (an old pair) and a case, and
solution for contact lenses, if you wear them. Refer
to Appendix A, for a list of items to include in your
first aid kit.
Supplies and Special Equipment
the special supplies and equipment you may need. Be
sure to note the places where they are stored.
Refer to Appendix A, for a list of disability-related
supplies and special equipment. This list is extensive
and you may use only a few of the items listed here.
mobility aids near you at all times. If you have extra
aids (such as a cane), have them available in several
supplies can be part of both your basic and your portable
disaster supplies kits. If you must leave your home
for any reason, your disability-related supplies will
be available to take with you. If you are confined to
your home, these supplies will be available along with
your basic disaster supplies kit.
Disaster Supplies Kit
a drawstring bag, a pouch with lots of pockets, a fanny
pack, or a small backpack and keep it within reach,
by or on your chair, wheelchair, scooter, or other assistive
portable disaster supplies kit should include a copy
of your emergency information list and other lists;
a small flashlight; a whistle or noisemaker; water;
extra medication and copies of prescriptions; an extra
pair of glasses; a hearing aid; sanitary supplies; a
pad and pencil or other writing device; and a pair of
heavy work gloves for wheeling over glass and debris.
night, keep these portable supplies either next to or
under your bed.
Supplies for Your Car
the basic disaster supplies listed in Appendix A, you
should also carry other disaster supplies in your car.
Store several blankets; an extra set of mittens or gloves,
wool socks, and a wool cap; jumper cables and instructions;
a small sack of sand or kitty litter for traction; a
small shovel; a set of tire chains or traction mats;
a red cloth to use as a flag; and a CB radio or cellular
telephone in any vehicle you use regularly.
Animal and Pet Supplies
your disability-related supplies kit, the service animal
and pet supplies can be part of your basic disaster
supplies kit or your portable disaster supplies. This
will depend on whether you evacuate or are confined
to your home.
service animal and pet supplies should include food;
water; a leash or harness; a collar; and identification
tags. Dogs and cats should wear a collar and tags. Dogs
should be led with a leash or harness; cats should be
moved in a pet carrier. Keep an extra harness with your
disaster supplies for each animal. Ask your veterinarian
for first aid information and a list of supplies you
will need for your animals.
sure that identification tags, licenses, and vaccinations
are current for your service animal or pet. Identification
tags should list both your home telephone number and
that of your primary out-of-town contact person.
people may use a fuel-operated generator to produce
electricity if power will be out for a long time. If
appropriate and feasible, get a generator listed by
Underwriters Laboratories (the generator will carry
a label with the letters "UL" circled on it).
generators can be connected to the existing wiring systems
of a house. But contact your utility company before
you connect a generator to house wiring. Connecting
a generator is specifically prohibited by law in some
areas, so you must check with your local utility or
fire department first. To run generators in an emergency,
fuel must be safely stored. Generators need to be operated
outdoors to guarantee good ventilation. If you get a
generator, be sure your network is familiar with how
to operate it.
you use a battery-operated wheelchair, life-support
system, or other power-dependent equipment, discuss
with your power company the type of backup power you
plan to use. Some utility companies offer a "priority
reconnection service" for people with disabilities
who use power-dependent equipment. Many utility companies
keep a list and map of the locations of power-dependent
customers in case of an emergency. Contact the customer
service department of your local utility company(ies)
to learn if this service is available in your community.
Some utility companies may require a referral from your
physician to qualify you for this service. However,
even with this "priority reconnection service,"
your power could still be out for a long time following
a disaster. Providing alternatives for your power-dependent
equipment is still essential.
Information on Equipment and Supplies
you use a wheelchair or scooter-
a patch kit and can of seal-in-air product in your
portable disaster supplies kit to repair flat tires,
unless these are puncture-proof. Also, keep an extra
supply of inner tubes.
Keep a pair of heavy gloves in your portable disaster
supplies kit to use while wheeling or making your
way over glass and debris.
In areas prone to earthquakes, keep the wheelchair
wheels locked and the wheelchair close to your bed
at night to be sure it does not move or fall over.
you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter-
an extra battery. A car battery also can be used with
a wheelchair but will not last as long as a wheelchair's
Check with your vendor to know if you can charge your
battery by either connecting jumper cables to a vehicle
battery or connecting batteries to a converter that
plugs into a vehicle's cigarette lighter. Caution:
Charge only one battery at a time.
If available, store a lightweight manual wheelchair
you are Blind or have a visual disability-
a talking or braille clock or large-print timepiece
with extra batteries.
Have at least one extra white cane.
Mark your disaster supplies items with fluorescent
tape, large print, or braille.
Mark your gas, water, and electric shutoff valves
with fluorescent tape, large print, or braille.
Store extra magnifiers.
Have an extra pair of glasses if you wear them.
Make photocopies of your information lists from this
you are Deaf or have a hearing loss-
getting a small portable battery-operated television
set. Emergency broadcasts may
give information in American Sign Language (ASL) or
Keep pads and pencils in your home disaster supplies
kit and with your car disaster supplies. Keep them
with you at all times for communication.
Keep a flashlight, whistle or other noisemaker, and
pad and pencil by your bed.
Keep a card in the disaster supplies kits (in your
home and car), and with you at all times that indicates
that you are Deaf. Include any other appropriate communication
information such as, "I do (or do not) know American
Sign Language (ASL)," or, "My service animal
may legally remain with me."
you have a speech-related or communication disability-
buying a power converter if you use a laptop computer
to communicate. A power converter allows most laptops
(12 volts or less) to be operated from the cigarette
lighter on the dashboard of a vehicle.
Be sure to have pencil and paper with you as a backup
If you use an augmentative communication device (such
as an electronic communicator or artificial larynx)
that allows you to communicate by voice, be sure to
keep it close to you at night in a safe place.
Store copies of a word or letter board and preprinted
key phrases you would use in case of an emergency
in all of your disaster supplies kits, your wallet,
you use self-administered medical treatments-
in mind that traffic delays and/or severe weather
hazards can happen when you do not expect them. Be
sure to carry the equipment and fluids (temperature
controlled) you will need when traveling.
you have a cognitive disability-
a copy of any instructions or information you think
you will need. Also, keep a copy of this information
in the disaster supplies kits you keep both at home
and in your car. Prepare this information in a way
that is easy for you to understand. You may want to
break down the information into a step-by-step outline.
This format will help you remember what to do during
the confusion of a disaster.
Have a pencil and paper ready to keep track of any
new instructions or information you may receive.
emergency documents in sealed plastic freezer bags in
your basic disaster supplies kit. Copies of lifesaving
information (i.e., specifications for adaptive equipment
or medical devices) should be stored in your basic disaster
supplies kits and with your disability-related supplies,
portable supplies kit, car supplies, and supplies you
keep at work.
other emergency documents in your disaster supplies
kit for home so you can get to them in an emergency.
(For a list of these items, see Appendix A Important
Family Documents.) If you get benefits from Social Security
(SSI or SSD), put a copy of your most recent award letter
with these documents as well. (Note: financial assistance
from the American Red Cross and other disaster recovery
resources will not cause a reduction in your monthly
grant.) Be sure to send copies of these documents to
your out-of-town contact person (seal and mark them
"open in an emergency for [name] only").
your disaster supplies kit in a safe, dry place that
is easy for you to get to. This place should also be
easy for your network, or anyone who comes to assist
you, to identify. If you are going to put the kit on
a shelf, be sure to secure it so that it does not fall
and become inaccessible when you need it.
your supply of food and water every six months. Also,
check the expiration dates of stored prescription medications.
Replace items in your supplies kit that are old or outdated.
Remember to do this by putting new purchases in the
kit and using the old kit items you purchased earlier.
However, do not borrow items from the kit with the intention
of replacing them later. You may forget to do so.
Checklist for Disaster Supplies
together a basic disaster supplies kit for your
home. It should have food, water, and other essential
items you would need for at least three, but preferably
a first aid kit and put it with your basic disaster
supplies kit for home.
items for a disaster supplies kit containing items
you need that are related to your disability.
together a portable disaster supplies kit in a drawstring
bag or pouch to carry with you at all times.
a disaster supplies kit for your car or van.
disaster supplies for your service animal and pet(s).
a UL-listed generator if you have equipment that
runs on electricity and needs backup power.
your utility company if a priority reconnection
service is available in your area.
a patch kit and canned air for wheelchair tires.
heavy gloves in your portable disaster supplies
kit if you use a wheelchair. Wear these gloves when
wheeling over debris.
an extra battery available for a motorized wheelchair
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