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Disability Action Center NW

Emergency Preparedness for a Person with a Disability

 “On a typical day a good plan can save some lives. On days that are not typical, facing two tornadoes with a focus on preparedness, a great plan can save every life in the building, including my family, and our work family.” – Shane Cohea, Director of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness for Norman Regional Health System. (from FEMA’s blog)

The Palouse Community Preparedness Fair will be Saturday, March 22, 9am-3pm at the LDS Church on 2600 W “A” St in Moscow. Disability Action Center will be there with information to help a person with a disability or mobility issue be prepared for any emergency.

Being prepared for an emergency is important for anyone, but especially so for someone with a disability or mobility issue. Steps you can take to be prepared include:

  • Make a list of what you use every day. Identify the essential things you need to get through a minimum of 3 days (recommended) safely and comfortably if people cannot get to you.
  • Stock your custom essentials in your disaster kit. For example, your kit may contain durable medical equipment, assistive technology, food for special diets, prescription medicines, diabetic supplies, hearing aids and batteries, or a manual wheelchair. If you have a service animal, don’t forget food and supplies for your animal.
  • Prepare for a loss of electrical power. You should plan alternate ways to charge your communication and assistive technology. Keep your gas tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to run their pumps. Put containers of ice in your refrigerator to help keep food cold. Know where the manual release lever is on your garage door. These can be heavy to open and you may need help.

A basic emergency supply kit should include the following items:

  • Water, one gallon per person per day for at least three days. Plan for drinking and sanitation.
  • Food, at least a three day supply of non-perishable food. Include a manual can opener
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio, and extra batteries
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags for personal sanitation
  • Tools to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger. Important numbers.

Call your power company before any blackouts. Many utility companies keep a list and map of locations of power-dependent customers. Have an extra battery for your motorized wheelchair or scooter. Have a talking or Braille clock with extra batteries if you have a visual impairment. Consider getting a small portable battery operated tv if you have hearing loss. Emergency broadcasts may give information in ASL or open captioning.

For more information about being prepared visit FEMA’s website.