As the East Coast of the US braces for Hurricane Irene (and any of her future siblings), we’re gathering our readiness kits and battening down the hatches. We’ve pulled together a few items to share. Please feel free to pass this on, repost, and otherwise share with family, friends, clients, and coworkers.
- Ready.gov from FEMA encourages you to build a readiness kit and has an excellent section for people with disabilities and other access and functional needs: http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/disabled.html
- There’s a video there, too: http://www.ready.gov/america/about/instructional.html
- The Red Cross and the National Weather Service also have preparedness guides.
- Check with your local office of emergency management to find out the nearest accessible shelter.
- Emergency managers, here’s an excellent guide to etiquette for interacting with people with disabilities: http://www.unitedspinal.org/pdf/DisabilityEtiquette.pdf and 3 common oversights in emergency preparedness and the ADA http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/eACCESS/September2008Single.pdf
- Some suggestions from the NARIC staff:
- charge your batteries (phones, laptops, chairs)
- bring in potted plants and other small patio items
- fill a few gallon jugs with fresh water and/or fill the tub (in case a water main breaks or sewers are flooded)
- have enough pet supplies handy for both companion and service animals
- have at least 2 flashlights, 1 battery or windup radio, and a non-cordless phone handy (cordless ones don’t work when the power goes out). And batteries!!
- Finally, here are a few items from our collection on emergency preparedness (free to download).
Please feel free to comment below with your storm safety tips!