Disaster Preparedness for Special Populations

Hurricane Sandy is about to make landfall in the eastern portion of the United States. That means that millions could be effected by flooding, lack of power and stoppage of services, such as public education. For some, this may be an inconvenience, yet for a parent with a child withe special needs, this could be a significant hardship.

Children with special needs often have extreme difficulties during unexpected events.  Being moved to a shelter could result in a serious set problems for some families as children with a disorder, such as Autism,  may not handle transitions, the overstimulating environmental noises of a shelter or new people. In fact, many parents of children with Autism may state that  a change in the home environment or need to relocate elsewhere could result in   a “worst case scenario”. The best way to help make this situation easier is through pre-planning, remaining calm (parents) and  using others to support, such as family members or friends.

To help with DISASTER PREPAREDNESS the CDC issued a new feature to help people prepare for a HURRICANE, such as the one expected this weekend.  Videos are available in American Sign Language (ASL)  Here is the link: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HurricanePreparedness/

Maryland, a state expected to take the brunt of  Hurricane Sandy, has prepared a lengthy list of disaster preparedness information, including this guide to help those in their region and others who may live in another state: http://mema.maryland.gov/prepared/Pages/home.aspx

Preparedness information is available here from US GOVERNMENT PREPAREDNESS OFFICE in ENGLISH (  http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes  ) and in SPANISH:  (http://www.ready.gov/translations/spanish/ )

General disaster links for special populations can be found here: http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/how-we-can-help/safe-and-sound/emergency-preparedness.html

and  for Autism Spectrum disorders specifically here>> http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/how-we-can-help/safe-and-sound/preparedness-tips.html



The video below is provided by the READY HOUSTON in ASL for disaster preparedness

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