Emergency preparedness is key to staying safe during unexpected disasters and it’s especially important for people with disabilities. Below are several actions they can take to prepare for a disaster:
- Creating a disaster preparedness kit that includes prescribed medication, extra batteries for medical devices (if applicable), as well as copies of important documents.
- Having a list of contacts with names, addresses, email addresses and social media of family members, close friends, doctors, co-workers, etc. to easily get in touch with them.
- Asking in advance at least 3 trustworthy people for help in case of a disaster. They should know the needs and capabilities of the disabled person and be able to provide support within minutes of the disaster.
- Assessing what one can do during any type of emergency, such as flood or fire. In case of a fire, can the person with disability use a fire extinguisher? If evacuation is mandatory, does the person need help to exit the home? The support team should be informed of all these things.
- Learning the local emergency plans and knowing which disaster can strike in the community. Local response plans, evacuation plans and emergency shelters should also be learned. If the person with disability needs help with transportation, the emergency management office should be informed.
- Planning the escape routes and safe places of the home. The drill should be practiced at least twice a year with the family, caregiver (if applicable), support team and pets.
- Knowing how to turn off utilities if instructed to do so by local authorities, if a water leak is detected or if the electrical lines are damaged.
Every individual is unique and has different needs, depending on the disability. This guide provides information about specific disability cases. The PuroClean team is ready to provide professional mitigation and restoration services to any property damaged by fire, water or mould.