Unique Needs

June 6, 2018
Unique Needs Feature Image

This month’s goal:

Before disaster strikes, talk to your family about your household’s unique needs. What kinds of things can members of your household not be without for 72 hours?

Examples of things that can create unique needs for your family:

  • Infants and young children
  • Prescription medication
  • Health-related supplies
  • Assistive devices
  • Pets

Talk to your kids about what to do. Make sure they know where emergency supplies are kept, how to call 911, and who to call if they can’t reach you in an emergency.

Common items like diapers and pet food might not be easy to find right after a disaster. Trying new brands of food or formula, or not having a comfort item, can make disasters more stressful for both children and pets.

Make a plan to make sure pets are taken care of in a disaster. Consider asking a trusted neighbor to check on your pets if you can’t get home because of a disaster or emergency. You may also ask them to take your pets with them if an evacuation is ordered while you are not home. Make sure they are comfortable with your pet, and that they know where to find leashes and other supplies.

If you or someone in your household has a disability, create an evacuation plan that works for them.

If you have a disability and you live in an area where these things can happen, make sure you have an evacuation plan:
  • Make sure you are signed up for any emergency notification systems your community offers. Some notification systems will only call landline phones.
  • Talk to your paratransit provider now to find out what services they can provide when evacuation is ordered.
  • If paratransit services aren’t available, arrange for someone else to pick you up if an evacuation is ordered. If you can’t evacuate, call 911 to let them know your location.
  • Talk to your local Red Cross chapter or other organizations who provide emergency sheltering in your community. Make sure that your needs can be met in an emergency shelter. If you have a service animal, talk to them about what they can provide for the animal. Find out what you need to bring with you. Make sure you have batteries or a charger for any assistive devices in your emergency kit.