Disaster Prep for the Disabled
Sometimes in summer, the livin' isn't easy after all. This is the season of severe weather in many parts of the country. That poses a threat to everyone, but people with disabilities are especially vulnerable. The Mayo Clinic's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has issued tips to help those who are living with physical challenges survive floods, hurricanes, tornados, and fires.
A press release from the clinic quotes Lisa Beck, a clinical nurse specialist, as saying, “As we learned during Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, persons with disabilities need to consider a number of different factors, such as identifying who is in their support system, special transportation needs, and what supplies to include in their emergency preparedness kits.”
Beck recommends that people with disabilities take the following steps to ensure they are prepared:
Practice getting out of the house quicklyat least twice a year.
Discuss any special needs with a local emergency medical services provider.
Plan where to shelter, how to get there, and who may need to provide assistance.
Prepare an emergency preparedness kit to last 24 to 48 hours, including medication lists, contact numbers, medications, catheter supplies, first aid kit, and extra glasses.
Consider shelter and supplies for service animals.
Here at ThirdAge, we would add that disaster preparedness is a great idea for anyone. In NYC after 9/11, residents were encouraged to create a "grab and go" emergency kit and decide how to deal with pets in the event of the need to evacuate. Some of us still have those kits with supplies, meds, and that all-important extra pair of glasses!