Emergency Planning for
People with Disabilities
If you carefully think out the answers to the questions below, you’ll help people with special needs successfully navigate an emergency.
If possible, designate someone to be in charge of caring for and assisting the person with special needs in your group.
- Is there any chance you’ll have to evacuate to a shelter, another city or even out-of-state?
- Does he/she require a special mode of transport?
- Do you have a collapsible wheelchair or spare crutches in your supplies?
- Is your primary vehicle the right choice to transport everyone—including the person with special needs—should you have to leave home?
- Will transportation assistance be needed to evacuate in advance of a hurricane?
Dial 2-1-1 for information about available services during an emergency.
Special medication needs:
- Do you have a complete list of medications, dosages and times they should be taken?
- Do you have copies of prescriptions to show emergency/rescue personnel?
- Is there someone in your family or group who will monitor a dosage schedule and administer medications?
In a serious emergency, you might find your time away from home extended by weeks or even months, so you have to consider how you’ll handle a prolonged evacuation period for a person with special needs.
- Where will you go?
- Are you aware of medical professionals in the area who can provide the special services required?
- Do you know where you’ll fill prescriptions or restock the special supplies you might need?
- If you need dialysis treatments, do you know where facilities are located?
Some people may need extra supplies. Here are some items to consider:
- Wheelchairs, walkers and canes
- Cooler with cold packs for medications
- Extra medications and dosages
- Copies of prescriptions and medical alert tags
- Food for special diets
- Medical supplies (oxygen, glucose monitoring strips,syringes, etc.)
- Hearing aids with extra batteries
- Communication devices
- Supplies and documentation for service animals
Be sure to label your equipment with your name and contact information.