September 18th is “Get Ready Day” a yearly event held the third Tuesday of September by the American Public Health Association (APHA) coinciding with National Preparedness Month. The Get Ready website includes resources for people to prepare themselves, their families and their communities for potential disasters and hazards, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters, and other emergencies.
Emergency and disaster situations can present unique challenges to people living with disabilities and their caregivers. Would you be ready in an emergency? APHA offers these four steps to help you and your family be prepared:
- Purchase or create an emergency kit, including water and supplies
- Make a plan for emergency contact communication, in case family, friends, and caregivers are separated during a disaster
- Be informed by checking media for global, national, and local information
- Take response training such as first aid or volunteering to support local first responders
Here are several resources available specifically for people living with disabilities:
Disaster Readiness Tips for People with Disabilities from the National Organization on Disability (Includes information on physical and sensory disabilities as well as individuals with service animals)