West Virginia Assistive Technology Blog

September is National Preparedness Month – Are you Ready?

Emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice. Mobility, hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities can create specific needs that individuals must address to be able to respond to an emergency.

Ask yourself some basic questions:

  • Do you regularly need assistance with personal care, such as bathing and grooming?
  • What will you do if water service is cut off for several days or if you are unable to heat water?
  • How will you continue to use equipment that runs on electricity, such as dialysis, electrical lifts, etc.?
  • Do you need a specially equipped vehicle or accessible transportation?
  • What if your caregiver cannot reach you because roads are blocked or the disaster has affected him or her as well?\
  •  Can you reach and activate an alarm?
  • How will you call for the help you will need to leave the building?
  • Will you be able to care for your animal during and after a disaster?

The American Red Cross urges everyone, especially individuals with disabilities, to become “Red Cross Ready” for any urgent situation, which means:

In addition, people with disabilities, and their caregivers, need to learn more about managing communications, equipment, service animals, pets and home hazards. The Red Cross recommends four important steps:

  1. Create a personal support network to help you prepare for a disaster and identify and get the resources you need to cope effectively
  2. Complete a personal assessment to identify your  current capabilities and the assistance you may need before, during and after a disaster
  3. Gather information on where you local shelters are located and if you community have a local evacuation plan
  4. Make an emergency plan

For more information, contact your local emergency management office or visit the American Red Cross website by clicking HERE.

Co-authored by the American Red Cross and Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.


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