Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
For those with disabilities that affect mobility, fires, floods, and other disasters can pose a serious threat. Evacuating a building and seeking shelter is a little more difficult when there are mobility aids involved. Creating a plan and taking steps to ensure preparedness can save lives and prevent injuries, especially when individuals with mobility issues are involved.
Preparing the Home
Home modifications like wheelchair lifts, ramps, home elevators, and keyless door locks can be helpful on a daily basis for people that use wheelchairs, crutches, or canes to move around, but these modifications can become life savers in the case of an emergency. If a fire or flood threatens the safety of an individual with mobility issues, they may be able to safely evacuate themselves from the home if these types of modifications are in place.
Developing an Evacuation Plan
Developing an evacuation plan can help people with disabilities to keep a calm head and go through practiced steps, rather than panicking during an emergency situation. An evacuation plan can be especially helpful for individuals that generally rely on the assistance of others throughout the day. If no one is around, it can make a person feel helpless when they are used to assistance, but they may be able to remove themselves from the premises if safeguards and plans are put in place.
Making Preparations with Support Network
In addition to making sure that immediate family knows what to do to help and that the person or people with disabilities are well informed about how to react to an emergency, it can be helpful to make preparations with an outside support network. Local emergency response agencies or other organizations may be able to provide swift assistance when needed. Agreeing upon communication methods and giving local agencies information about how to help in case of emergency can improve response time.
Assembling Emergency Supplies
Emergency supplies may include medications and spare mobility aids in addition to basics like water, clothing, and important information. When an emergency occurs, it may be difficult to obtain medical supplies, so it is best to have extra medications and spare supplies on hand. A personal contact list should be assembled that will make it easier for the disabled individual to get in contact with doctors, therapists, and other important people. The emergency contact list should also include a restoration company that can assist with home repairs.
To make sure that you or a loved one are as prepared as possible for a disaster, contact an emergency response company in your area today.