For Orange County citizens with physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities, any emergency from floods to wildfires can prove a significant challenge.
If you or someone close to you has a disability and other access and functional needs, you may need to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency. Discuss these ideas with your family, friends, care giver or anyone else in your support network.
- Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability, especially if you have a communication disability.
- Make a list of prescription medicines including dosage, treatment and allergy information. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you need to prepare.
- Add disability-specific items to your emergency supply kits such as extra medication, food, water, batteries and battery chargers for assistive technology devices. Carry emergency health information at all times including details about your disability, medications, allergies, assistive technology devices, durable medical equipment.
- If you have a service animal or pet, make sure that it has an identification tag or has been micro-chipped.
- Create an emergency preparedness buddy plan (include attendants, readers, interpreters, family, friends, neighbors) with people who know about your medications, how to operate assistive technology devices and the location of your emergency supply kits.
- Know where all of your medical, insurance and other emergency documents are located, and make sure they can be accessed quickly.
- Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency for planning tips for people with disabilities and access and functional needs
- Watch a video about emergency preparedness for people with access and functional needs from the Orange County Collaborative to End Abuse of Individuals with Disabilities.
- Check out the full range of disability preparedness resources at the Disability Preparedness Resource Center.
- Check out the Cal EMA Access and Functional Needs Planning Program
- Get information for specific disabilities at National Organization on Disability.
- Find a list of extra supplies for a disabled emergency kit at Ready.gov’s section on persons with disabilities.
- Download the Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities and Access and Functional Needs developed by the American Red Cross.
- Visit the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Access and Functional Needs webpage for more resources.
- Download the Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities resource produced by the American Red Cross.
- Visit the FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination web page for more information.