“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Emergency Preparedness – How prepared are you really?
Preparing for an emergency such as a hurricane, fire, thunderstorm, flood, or other natural disaster is not something most of us like to think about. We like even less to think about preparing for a terrorist attack.
Despite this, the fact remains that the more prepared we are the more likely we are to survive such an emergency. Even if it is not a life or death matter and the emergency is short in duration, a little planning and having some basic things on hand will make us much more comfortable.
The following resources are intended to assist persons with disabilities, their caregivers, and loved ones in planning for an emergency or disaster. These resources are also intended to familiarize caregivers or members of a support group with some of the challenges facing their friends, family, and loved ones with a disability.
This information is not limited to people with physical or cognitive conditions specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example, people with even mild vision, hearing, or mobility impairments should find it helpful.
There are three basic steps to planning for an emergency:
- Be Informed,
- Make a Plan, and
- Make an Emergency Supply Kit.
These steps are outlined below with links for you to complete each step.
STEP 1: BE INFORMED
What to do before, during, and after an emergency.
- Before Educate yourself as to how to prepare for disasters likely to happen in your area. In Arizona, an emergency could involve such natural things as: a fire; wild fire; flood; earthquake; extreme heat or cold; snow; thunderstorm; or dust storm. A disaster could also involve a nuclear power plant or a terrorist incident. Your preparation for each potential emergency type may be different or may involve having different items in your emergency kit.
- During How will you know that a natural disaster or other emergency will or has affected the area in which you live? Often we receive such news on the TV or radio, but what if the power has gone out? Do you have a battery or solar operated radio to receive such weather or news story? How will you communicate with loved ones?
- After How will you communicate with loved ones to find out if they are safe or to let them know that you are safe? Register on the Red Cross Safe and Well List – If you have been affected by a disaster, you can use this page to post “safe and well messages” that your loved ones can view.
Check out the links below for information on staying informed.
The Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN)
Emergency Warnings for People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR)
STEP 2: MAKE A PLAN
Each person’s needs and abilities are unique, but every individual can take important steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies and put plans in place. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan, you can be better prepared for any situation.
A commitment to planning today will help you prepare for any emergency situation. Each of the following links will assist you in making an emergency plan.
Planning for Your Pets
Whether you have a service animal or family pets, your emergency preparations should include them too. Just like you, your pets will need food, water, shelter, and medications. Also, like you during an emergency, they may experience many emotions – anxiety, worry, and fear. The links below will help you prepare for your four-legged friends.
STEP 3: MAKE AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT
A disaster supply kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or to shop for them. The links below will help you assemble a kit.
Specific Functional Need Focus
Deaf / Hard of Hearing
More Emergency Preparedness Links
Are You Red Cross Ready? in American Sign Language
Coping with Disasters
Disability.Gov – Emergency Preparedness Resources
FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC)
Just In Case Arizona
Make A Disaster Supplies Kit
NASUAD Disaster Preparedness Guide
Red Cross – Prerparing for Disaster for People with Special Needs
Paso 1: Estar Informado
La Radio del Tiempo de la NOAA (NWR)
Paso 2: Haga Un Plan
Preparación por Catástrofes para los Animales
Paso 3: Hacer un botiquín de emergencia
Otros enlaces de emergencia