Update: Sadly tornado “season” has been wicked during 2015, therefore I am re – blogging this post that originally posted in 2013. At the bottom of this post are additional safety resources including for earthquake, flood, hurricane, tsunami and wildfire preparedness.
Today there have been a series of tragic tornadoes that have ripped through the heartland of America causing severe devastation, including loss of life. Some of the families impacted who have been impacted have family members with special needs.
In an effort to help families and communities who may have some unique challenges during disasters here is some information:
BEFORE A DISASTER
Be prepared. Alert your local fire department if you have a family member with special needs of any kind, such as physical, sensory, cognitive or other. Included would be family members with dementia, Alzheimer’s or medical problems.
Have a family plan for sheltering in place and evacuation.
Be sure to have an emergency kit in your home and car. To know what should be in your emergency kit go to the RED CROSS Disaster Information page. Don’t forget to add to your kit personal effects, such as your insurance information, copies of marriage and birth certificates and photos of your family members.
For families with children, especially with special needs, have a quick “grab and go” kit of favorite items and things you know will comfort your child during a time of distress. Stuffed animals, battery operated video games, and books or drawing pads all are good things to bring along. So, be prepared in advance with this GRAB AND GO KIT.
Let others know your plans if you need to evacuate. Where you intend to go and how you will try to check in.
WHAT TO DO IF DISASTER STRIKES
Many agencies including FEMA and the RED CROSS offer much information, including for for families with special populations.
GENERAL ASSISTANCE, including Access and Functional Needs Information:
RED CROSS disaster safety checklist in multiple languges
ASSISTANCE FOR THE AUTISM COMMUNITY:
ASL / SIGN LANGUAGE RESOURCES FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS for the DEAF
DEAFinc VIDEOS (including the one below)
Other Disaster Preparation Resources
ShakeOut Earthquake Drill registration
Ready.gov for many disaster preparedness resources, including Floods and Fires
IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL RESOURCES PLEASE SHARE BELOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION