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  • Seniors & People with Access and Functional Needs

    In a disaster, you may need to consider some additional preparedness measures if you are a senior citizen or have a disability or access and functional needs. Below you will find some key recommendations.
    • Set up a personal support network: Designate someone, such as a family member or close personal friend, to check on you in an emergency and to help with evacuation or sheltering-in-place. Keep their contact information current and handy at all times.
    • Prepare and carry with you an emergency health information card: This will help rescuers if you become incapacitated or unable to communicate. Be sure to include information about your medications, adaptive equipment, blood type, allergies and sensitivities, insurance numbers, immunization dates, communication difficulties and preferred treatment, as well as contact information for your health providers, personal support network and emergency contacts.
    • Personal care assistance: If you receive assistance from a home healthcare agency or in-home support provider find out how the provider will respond in an emergency. Designate backup or alternative providers that you can contact in an emergency.
    • For persons using a wheelchair: Plan for how you will evacuate in an emergency and discuss it with your care providers. If you use a motorized wheelchair consider having a manual wheelchair as a backup, as there may not be power available for some time.
    • For persons who are blind or visually impaired: Keep an extra cane by your bed. Attach a whistle in case you need to attract attention. Exercise caution when moving as paths may have become obstructed.
    • For persons who are hearing impaired: Keep extra batteries for your hearing aids with emergency supplies. Consider storing your hearing aids in a container attached to your nightstand or bedpost, so you can locate them quickly after a disaster.
    • For persons with communication disabilities: Store paper, writing materials, copies of a word or letter board and pre-printed key phrases in your emergency kit, your wallet, purse, etc...
    • For persons who depend on medical equipment: Keep extra charged batteries to help operate oxygen or dialysis machines. Discuss your short and long term needs for medical assistance with your care providers and try to have plans for addressing them before disaster strikes.
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