The Do 1 Thing site won the Awareness to Action category of FEMA’s 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. It’s a 12-month program of small steps that you can take to increase your personal and household preparedness. Throughout 2015, DEM will feature Do 1 Thing items during our weekly blog post series of One Thing Wednesdays. Check back here every week for a new preparedness activity or tip!
For June, we’re looking at your household and what makes it unique. Each post this month will focus on a different aspect of customizing emergency preparations to the important people in your life.
Disasters have a greater impact on people with special needs than on others in the community. A disaster can shut down accessible services or can lead to evacuations. An evacuation plan for a household member with special needs should take those needs into account.
First, be aware of every emergency notification option available to you. If your community offers subscription-only notification services, be sure to sign up for them. If possible, register both your landline phone number and your cell number.
Disasters that affect the transportation network can shut down paratransit services along with everything else. Talk to your local paratransit provider in advance to learn what services they can provide when roads are impassable to normal vehicles or when authorities issue evacuation orders. If they won’t be available, start planning now for alternate evacuation transportation. Make sure your alternate transport will come unless you tell them not to. If alternate transportation isn’t available in an evacuation, call 9-1-1 for assistance.
In Lexington, our partners at the American Red Cross are the lead agency for emergency sheltering needs for the general population, while the Fayette County Health Department works with them to provide shelters for people with medical functional needs. If you have concerns about sheltering after an evacuation, contact those organizations to ensure their emergency shelters can meet your needs. Will someone in your household will need medical services, assistive devices, or an alternate method of communicating with shelter staff? Does anyone have a service animal?