If you have a special need, then you are in the best position to plan for your own safety. You know best what your functional abilities are. You know best your potential needs…and you can best create a plan for yourself.
Use the checklist below to get you started:
- Learn what to do in a power outage, including how to connect and start a back-up power source, if necessary.
- Consider getting a medical alert system that will allow you to call for help.
- If you use an electrical wheelchair, have an extra manual one available.
- Teach your personal support network (those people with whom you have made this plan) how to assist you in an emergency.
- Store back-up equipment in a secondary location, like with your neighbor.
- Be sure that more than one person in your personal support system checks in with you in an emergency. Redundancy is good.
- If you are hearing impaired or have vision impairment, be certain to plan ahead for someone to convey essential information to you.
- If you live in an apartment, identify all accessible exits. Ask about any plans for alerting and evacuating those with special needs.
- Have a cell phone with an extra battery. If you cannot get out of the building you may be able to call for help. Practice using the cell phone weekly, if you don’t usually use one. Keep the numbers of your personal support system with you in case 911 is overloaded.
- Practice giving instructions to where you live. Be clear and concise and ready to tell rescuers where to find you.
- Lastly, prepare your personal support system to assist you with any related emotions and reactions you anticipate during an emergency
Be prudent. Be ready. Be prepared.