August 2012:Emergency Preparedness and Response Information for You

This summer, people across the United States have been experiencing weather disasters from wildfires to intense heat. Whether you live in areas prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or other natural disasters, being prepared can mean the difference between survival and tragedy. For those with disabilities, creating an emergency kit and a support network could be the key to survival.

Creating an emergency kit
When creating an emergency kit for your home, it is important that you take into consideration any special needs you or your loved ones may have. Some items you may want to consider include are extra bottled water, extra personal supplies such as copies of prescriptions and dosage information, hearing aids, batteries, wheelchair batteries, and other supplies that you may need on a day-to-day basis. In addition, it’s important to prepare a smaller portable kit that you can keep in your car and take with you if you have to leave your home.

Contact your local emergency management agency to see if there are services provided to assist any unique needs you or your loved ones may have in the case of an emergency.

Create a support network
People with disabilities should create a support network that is comprised of friends, relatives or neighbors. The people in your support network should know where you keep your emergency kit and have a copy of your emergency plan so they know how you plan to evacuate and where you will go in an emergency. Be sure to teach the people in your support network how to use your essential equipment and how to properly administer your medication. And, as practice makes perfect, those in your support network should practice executing your emergency plan.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) preparedness tools
The CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Web site is that agency’s primary source of information and resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. This site continues to keep the public informed about public health emergencies and provides the information needed to protect and save lives.

Related Resources
CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response
www.ready.gov