Handicap Accessibility Modifications That Could Help in a Disaster

Handicap Accessibility Modifications That Could Help in a Disaster

Home Accessibility Modifications

Living with a physical handicap that affects mobility is difficult, but can present real challenges if a disaster strikes. While family members or home care workers may be able to help with daily needs, handicap accessibility modifications can provide greater independence on a daily basis and can be invaluable in case of emergency. The following are a few handicap accessibility modifications that may be of great value to those with a physical handicap in times of disaster.

Ceiling Mounted Lifts

Ceiling mounted lifts can help wheelchair bound individuals transition from the bed, bath, couch, or chair, to the wheelchair. These lifts can be very helpful if the individual needs to become mobile very quickly and is doing something that requires him or her to be out of the wheelchair at the time. Installing ceiling mounted lifts in multiple rooms can help people with wheelchairs to be more prepared for disasters, while maximizing independence with a wide range of daily tasks.

Widened Doorways

Narrow doorways may restrict access with a wheelchair or walker. Widened doorways or doors that have swing clear hinges will allow those with mobility limitations to move easily between rooms and to exit the home if needed during a disaster. After widening doorways or installing the swing clear hinges, it may be necessary to place transition bars between different types of flooring or different levels to make it easier to move over thresholds.

Home Elevators and Stair Lifts

Home elevators and stair lifts may not be helpful in every disaster situation, such as when the power goes out, but can still be a worthy modification that helps in some situations. If a storm warning is issued and an individual with mobility challenges needs to reach the ground floor and evacuate quickly, an elevator or stair lift may be helpful. An elevator may also be helpful in moving medical devices and other necessities from a higher floor to the ground floor quickly for evacuation.


Ramps allow a person with mobility limitations to evacuate a home without assistance. This can be a lifesaver if the individual is home alone. If others are present, this can allow them to work on removing other necessities from the home while the individual with mobility limitations moves quickly out of harm’s way.

Keyless Locks

Keyless locks that are activated with a remote control or smartphone can make it easier for anyone to leave the home quickly without pause. For those with mobility limitations, keyless locks may make it possible to unlock the door easily in order to leave during a disaster to or to lock up after leaving to protect the home. This can help to keep both the home and its inhabitants safe.

If you are considering installing handicap accessibility modifications, call 855-352-2281 today. These modifications may be priceless if disaster strikes.

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Emergency Preparedness DisabilitiesFor 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.

Font Resize