Do you or a family member have a disability or condition that requires specific accommodations? Take advantage of the time before a hurricane to plan how you will evacuate safely.
Know What Equipment is Needed
Think about the equipment you use regularly. If you must evacuate, there may be portable equipment that will be lighter and easier to take with you such as a lightweight manual wheelchair. Pack cords for a C-PAP machine, oxygen monitors, test strips, or other vital accessories. Supplies for a service animal will make your preparations complete.
Build a Team
Think of people who would be available to assist in an emergency such as friends or neighbors or if a family member or regular caregiver cannot be there. Make sure they have a key to the house and know how to use any medical or mobility equipment and are familiar with the location and dosage of medications.
Dialysis, Physical Therapy or Other Systematic Required Treatment
Learn from your usual provider what their procedures will be in an emergency. If your evacuation plan requires relocating, know where providers are located and if they accept your insurance.
Customize Your Kit
If you depend on them, be sure to include glasses, hearing aids, batteries/chargers, and written prescriptions. Making a list helps make sure you won’t leave important items behind. Even if you need help with preparations, be involved with the process. It is important that each person acts as their own emergency manager. Doing a little every day to be prepared is empowering and gives you better control over the outcome.
The following websites list basic items to take if you need to evacuate. Go online to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness http://gohsep.la.gov/MITIGATE/OVERVIEW/Fact-Sheet-Index/Disaster-Supply-Kit or to https://www.ready.gov/disability.
For additional preparedness tips, a FEMA video with American Sign Language interpretation can be viewed here: Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs - YouTube. More information on how to prepare for a hurricane is available at Ready.gov.