Preparedness Checklist

Medication Requirement
All Floridians need to take a few basic steps to plan for their personal/family needs and protection in the event of a disaster or emergency. People with disabilities/special needs often have unique challenges that require more detailed planning. Click the link below, or scroll down, for a comprehensive checklist of actions to take before a disaster strikes.

_ Form Your Personal Support Network
_ Give at least one trusted member of your Personal Support Network a key to your house or apartment
_ Show members of your support group where you store your emergency kit and run through what is included
_ Have at least three or more people in your network
_ Arrange for more than one person in your Personal Support Network to check on you in an emergency
_ Teach caregivers, Personal Support Network members and anyone who may assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment

_ Complete a Personal Assessment
_ Make a list of your personal needs and your resources for meeting them in a disaster environment (This should include daily living needs such as personal care/personal care equipment, adaptive feeding devices and electricity-dependent equipment.)

_ Get Educated, Get Informed

_ Know the specific hazards that threaten your community (hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc.)
_ Learn about community disaster plans and community warning systems
_ Learn your community's evacuation routes

_ Register with Your Local/County Emergency Management Office

_ Prepare an Emergency Kit

_ Considerations for People with Disabilities/Special Needs
_ Contact your physician to discuss emergency planning
_ Know how to connect and start a back-up power supply for essential medical equipment
_ If you use an electric wheelchair or scooter, have a manual wheelchair as a back-up
_ Label medical equipment, assistive devices and any other necessary equipment and attach laminated instructions for equipment use. Also include your identification information
_ Store back-up equipment (mobility, medical, etc.) at an alternate location (friend's, family member's, neighbor's or caregiver's home, school or workplace)
_ If you have visual/sensory disabilities, plan for someone to convey essential emergency information to you if you are unable to use the television or radio
_ If you use a personal care attendant from a home healthcare agency, check to see if the agency has special provisions for emergencies (i.e. providing services at another location should an evacuation be ordered)
_ If you live in an apartment, ask the management to identify and mark accessible exits and access to all areas designated for emergency shelter or safe rooms
_ Have a cell phone with an extra battery
_ Learn about devices and other technology available to assist you in receiving emergency instructions and warnings from local officials
_ Consider getting a medical alert system that will allow you to call for help if you are immobilized in an emergency

_ Have a Plan for Your Pets

_ Utilities
_ Know how and when to turn off water, gas and electricity at the main switches and valves
_ Keep any tools you will need near gas and water shut-off valves
_ Show caregivers, personal support network members and everyone in your household how to shut off utilities when necessary
_ Turn off utilities only if you suspect lines are damaged or if local officials instruct you to do so

_ Safety Devices
_ Be sure your caregivers and everyone in the household know where your fire extinguishers are located and how to use them
_ Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially near the bedrooms
_ Individuals with sensory disabilities should consider installing smoke alarms with strobe lights and vibrating pads
_ Several times a year, test your smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly

_ Insurance Coverage
_ Check with your insurance agent or carrier to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage

_ Important Records & Documents
_ Keep copies of important family records and other documents (birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, passports, wills, deeds, financial, insurance, medical/immunization records and copies of current bills) in a safe deposit box or other safe location

_ First Aid/CPR & AED
_ Take first aid and CPR/AED classes (American Red Cross courses can accommodate people with disabilities - just discuss your needs when registering for the classes.)

_ Inventory Home Possessions
_ Make a record of your possessions - in writing or video - to help you claim reimbursement in case of loss or damage

_ Reduce Home Hazards
_ Keep the shut-off switch for oxygen equipment near your bed or chair so you can get to it quickly if there is a fire
_ Have defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections repaired
_ Place large, heavy objects on lower shelves
_ Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds
_ Have cracks in ceilings and foundations repaired

Go Back to "Preparedness Planning."

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