|Emergency Planning for Persons with Disabilities|
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When a disaster occurs, the first priority of disaster relief organizations and government agencies is to provide basic needs—food, water, and safe shelter—to everyone who needs them. Your personal needs, such as replacing medications, replacing adaptive equipment, restoring electricity for power-dependent equipment, and restoring your regular ways of support for daily living activities may not happen right away. It is important for everyone to be prepared to meet his or her own basic needs by storing food and water for a minimum of three days or more. Be ready to meet your specific disability related needs by storing sufficient oxygen, medications, battery power, etc., for at least seven days after a disaster. Knowing about disaster threats and being prepared are critical for staying self-sufficient after a disaster.
It is also important that you know how a disaster may affect your independence. Anticipate for your lowest level of functioning in your personal disaster plan. Your condition may become worse because of a lack of normally available resources. For example, people who do not need the aid of devices on a daily basis may need a wheelchair after a disaster. After a disaster, you may need to ask for assistance to do things you usually would have done independently such as putting your home back in order, filling out forms, or providing documentation and information to disaster relief agencies. A personal support network or buddy that knows your needs may anticipate some of them and make your recovery easier and less stressful.
For more information visit: The American Red Cross