Presentation on theme: "Stephanie Currier, B.A. Communicative Sciences & Disorders, Michigan State University Old Dominion University Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP."— Presentation transcript:
Stephanie Currier, B.A. Communicative Sciences & Disorders, Michigan State University Old Dominion University Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP Speech-Language Pathology, University of Central Arkansas
During natural and human-made disasters, people with mobility and/or communication challenges have suffered disproportionately.
Disaster Preparedness Must include plans for those with Mobility Challenges Communication Challenges
Recommendations for Emergency planners Relief workers People with the challenges
EMERGENCY PLANNERS Need policies and practices in place BEFORE disasters: Find adequate resources for ongoing disability- related planning. 5 Identify people with mobility and/or communication challenges through a disaster assistance registry. 3, 4, 5 Create an alerting system for people with challenges to direct rescuers to their locations. 5 Create an alerting system to let people with challenges know when disaster strikes. 4 5
EMERGENCY PLANNERS Need policies and practices in place BEFORE disasters: Find adequate resources for ongoing disability- related planning. 5 Ensure transportation and shelters ‘accessibility 4 Advertise accessible shelters especially to relief workers and people with mobility needs. 4 Publicize who can help people with special needs to prepare for emergencies. 4, 5
EMERGENCY PLANNERS Need policies and practices in place BEFORE disasters: Ask people with challenges to help create emergency plans, to ensure planners consider any special needs, 4, 5 Mandate and facilitate regular training for relief workers on disability-related disaster preparedness. 3, 4, 5
RELIEF WORKERS Relief workers should receive training on how to best care for people with mobility impairments in an emergencyThe animal and owner should be evacuated together. Do not take the service animal by its harness. The harness indicates it is on duty. Take the animal by its leash if you must guide it. Service animals should not be petted nor given food while working. Service animals are not registered nor do they require proof that they are service animals. The person with the disability is NOT required to prove he has a disability; both must be taken at the owner’s word.6
Relief workers need to be trained on how to ask “yes” and “no” questions in order for individuals with communication challenges to respond easily. 3 Relief workers also need to be trained in how to teach someone with communication challenges to use a “yes” or “no” signal as well as provide an alternate response option, such as “I don’t know.” 3 Relief workers need to be taught the importance of not separating people with communication challenges from those with whom they best communicate. 3 Relief workers need to receive training on how to recognize individuals with communication challenges. 3 Relief workers need to be taught that some people rely solely on AAC, gestures, writing, communication boards, or their impaired speech as their primary means of communication. Alternative modes of communication must remain with the individual. 3 Relief workers need to be familiarized with and carry laminated paper communication displays such as the ones presented below. 3
PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY AND/OR COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES People with mobility and/or communication challenges need to prepare in advance to help improve outcomes.
Create a support team of at least three 8 family, friends, and neighbors, in a variety of settings, who are able to assist in an emergency, 4 to increase the likeliness someone will be available when disaster strikes. Create a written 8 individualized emergency plan. Find out which emergency organizations to contact when disaster strikes and keep their contact information up-to- date. 5 Locate shelters in advance. When accessibility is a concern, be certain shelters are accessible. 4 Conduct drills 4 and update emergency plans quarterly 8 to ensure plans can be executed during an actual disaster and are consistent with current needs. Register with emergency planners and relief organizations about any special consideration relief workers will need to take into account in an emergency. 4 Keep family and medical records in a waterproof, fireproof container. 7 Have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, 9 in case you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Maintain adequate (7 days) supplies of food, water, and medications in the home, in case evacuation is not possible. 8,10 Service animals should have microchips implanted so they may be reunited with you as soon as possible in the event they become separated. 7 Prepare alternate ways to navigate your environment, in case you become separated from your service animal.7. Maintain a 7 day food & water supply for service animals. 7 Obtain an alternate power source, such as a car battery adapter or a portable generator, to power AAC or electric mobility devices in extended power outages. 4 Deaf individuals should plan how to talk with emergency workers should no interpreter be available. 7 Hearing aid users should store their devices so they may be easily found during an emergency and keep an extra supply of batteries in your emergency relief kit. 7
Carry health information & emergency contacts at all times. 8, 10 If your communication is limited, carry laminated paper communication boards and written instruction on the best ways to communicate with you. 8 If mobility is limited, be certain if you live or work in a building with more than one story that there is at least one evacuation chair per floor. 7 Mobility device users who live or work in a building higher than one story, need to be certain those who may assist with evacuation are trained in proper lifting and carrying techniques. 7
CONCLUSION Outcomes will likely improve for people with mobility and/or communication challenges when appropriate pre-planning occurs. Emergency planners, relief workers, and people with communication challenges all need to take action to prepare for disaster. Until education and planning improves, people with challenges will continue to suffer disproportionately during disasters. 4