Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

New Year’s Resolution – Make a Disaster Kit in 2017

At the start of a new year, people make New Year’s resolutions.  Have you thought about creating a disaster kit as one of your resolutions?


“Our Goal is that No One Is Left Behind”

This year, the DAFN (Disability, Accessibility, and Functional Needs) Team at Humanity Road would like to invite you to join us in making a New Year’s Resolution to Make a Disaster Kit for 2017.  During a disaster, people who identify as having disabilities and/or functional needs, along with the very young and the elderly, are especially vulnerable.  Our goal is that “No One Is Left Behind” in being prepared for both Natural or Man-made Disasters, and the first step in doing this is to build your own personalized disaster kit.

Over the next few weeks we will be outlining items that should be in your kit.   Items will be some foundation items and some for specific groups, such as the visually impaired, seniors, diabetics and others. We hope that by separating the items by post you will be encouraged to build your kit until it is specific to your needs and your resolution is complete. Please remember these will just be suggestions as to what you may need either when you shelter at home or to fill an emergency bag, which is compact enough to be carried to an evacuation center. Your emergency supplies should last up to 14 days.

Each week on Monday at 10AM EST we will post a new special group disaster kit here, so be sure and check back each week. Reminders will also be posted on Twitter and Facebook using hashtags #DAFN and #hmrd.  


Foundation Items

Tote with a locking lid

On this first week, we begin with these items which are essential in making any disaster kit:

___  Backpack (depending on needs you may need more than one)

___  Container (tote with a locking lid)

___  Post-A-Note pads

___  Indelible Ink Pen

___  Index Cards

___ Roll of Clear Packing Tape

Containers on wheels are helpful for moving; a suitcase on wheels is an option or your disaster kit could be put in a little wagon.  Creating a disaster kit does not have to be expensive. Remember to check in your pantries, closets, or garage at home, you may find that you have some of the items already on hand.  

Also family and friends may have items they can donate. You may even like to invite a friend to build their kit along with you, when working with someone else it can be fun but also you may learn of things you both hadn’t considered


Week 2 – Hearing Special Need items

___   On Index Cards make list of key phrases for emergency personnel (e.g. “I need an interpreter,” or “I need announcements written or “I speak American Sign Language (ASL)”. Be sure and put these cards in a waterproof zip-lock bag. To protect from moisture.

___  Extra hearing aids, implants and batteries.

___  Extra batteries for visual or sensory alarms, pagers and TTY.

___  Car charger for cell phone and other communication devices.

___  Note pads and pens

___  Alarm clock

___  Hearing aid cleaner

___  Hearing aid drying system

___  Acoustic seal cream

___  Weather Alert Transmitter/Radio, PC Alert device


Week 3 – Mobility Special Need items

___   A pair of heavy gloves to use while wheeling or navigating over glass or other debris.

___  Extra battery for motorized wheelchair/scooter, Lightweight manual wheelchair, if possible.

___  Spare cane, crutches, walker, braces

___  Patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires and/or extra supply of inner tubes.

___  Catheters and Incontinence Supplies, and other personal items.


Week 4 – Seniors Special Needs items

___ Three-day supply of prescription medication and/or a copy of your prescriptions and dosages, including any allergies, Extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.

___ List of the style and serial number of medical devices, such as Pacemakers and or Stents, Walker, Wheelchair, Canes, Hearing Aids.

___ Extra Wheelchair battery, Oxygen, Hearing Aids and Batteries, Denture Cup and Denture Cleaner.

___ Incontinence supplies and other personal items, Deck of cards, Pad of Paper and Pencil, Snacks, Drinks like Ensure.


Week 5 – Visually Impaired Special Needs Items

___ List of medications if needed. If helpful, mark emergency supplies with large print, fluorescent tape or Braille.

___ Extra folding white cane, in case your dog is injured and can’t work.Tape Recorder and extra batteries.

___ An extra pair of dark glasses (if medically required) or you use them normally. Extra contacts, contact lens solution, spare eye glasses in case you can’t wear your contacts. If you wear Soft Contact Lenses, plan to have an alternative available because you will not be able to operate the cleaning unit without power.

___ A Disaster Kit for your Seeing Eye Dog ( we will have suggestions for that in March 2017). Extra Harness and leash for your Guide Dog.