ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS

AFN/WHOLE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS

AFN LogoDisaster preparedness is important for the whole community, especially those with access and functional needs and potentially vulnerable populations, such as older adults, children and those who are non-English speaking.  A little advance planning will go a long way ff you or your family member(s) require assistance and/or devices to maintain independence, communicate, obtain transportation services or require daily medical care.

Here are some additional items of consideration for your disaster preparedness kit:

  • Copies of medical prescriptions, doctors’ orders, and the style and serial numbers of the assistive devices you use
  • At least a week’s supply of any medication or medical supplies you use regularly, or as much as you can keep on hand.
  • Medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions of your disability and support needs, in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency.
  • Medical insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, physician contact information, list of your allergies and health history.
  • A list of the local non-profit or community-based organizations that know you or assist people with access and functional needs similar to yours.
  • Extra eyeglasses; backup supplies for any visual aids you use.
  • Extra batteries for hearing aids; extra hearing aids if you have them (or if you have insurance coverage for them).
  • Battery chargers for motorized wheelchairs, or other battery-operated medical/assistive technology devices.
  • Supplies for your service animal. You can find more tips at http://www.ready.gov/animals.
  • A laminated personal communication board, if you might need assistance with being understood or understanding others.
  • If you have allergies or chemical sensitivities, be sure to include items that you are able to use for personal hygiene and for cleanup.
  • Consider having your finances, benefits or other income direct deposit into your account so that cashing a check won’t be a challenge during a disaster.

Here are other valuable websites with more information about disaster planning for those with access and functional needs:
http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
http://www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs
http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1390849866881-33d608585d1e0e55ff6fbbb1ad6f4765/ready_Disabilities_R-6_2014.pdf