Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for People with Disabilities
Follow the guidelines on "Emergency Procedures" above.
- Become familiar with alternate evacuation routes in buildings you use frequently.
- Learn what may constitute a safe area in buildings you use frequently.
If you are unable to follow the "Emergency Procedure" guidelines, develop other strategies for your protection. For example, if you use a wheelchair and cannot duck and cover under a table in the event of an earthquake or similar emergency:
- Protect your head as much as possible.
- Move away from windows, filing cabinets, bookcases, light fixtures, and heavy objects that could shatter, fall, or tip over.
- Engage the electronic brake or wheel locks on your wheelchair.
Consider various disaster scenarios and decide ahead of time what you would do in different emergencies. For example, people with power wheelchairs should consider the following:
- In evacuations, it is standard practice to evacuate disabled people without their wheelchairs. Where should you be located while waiting for your wheelchair?
- Are there certain medications or support systems that you need?
- Do you have access to another wheelchair if yours cannot be evacuated?
- Know your limitations and be aware of your needs in different emergencies. If you need assistance, ask for it. People may not be aware of your circumstances or know how they can help.
- Consider how people will give you emergency information and how you will communicate your needs if you have impaired speaking, hearing, or sight.
- Consider arranging a buddy system with friends or colleagues so that someone will check with you, alert you as necessary, and see whether you need any assistance.
- If you need to be evacuated, help yourself and rescuers by providing them with information about your needs and the best ways to assist you.