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Individuals with Mobility Disabilities and Emergency Preparedness.

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Presentation on theme: "Individuals with Mobility Disabilities and Emergency Preparedness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Individuals with Mobility Disabilities and Emergency Preparedness

2 Natural Supports for Seniors and People with Disabilities Emergency Preparedness Information needs to include how to utilize natural supports Utilization of natural supports (i.e. family, friends, civic organizations, church, etc. The individual is ultimately responsible for being prepared Overview

3 Emergency Information and Preparedness Materials Seniors and people with disabilities function on many different levels Emergency announcements need to be assimilated in multiple accessible formats When preparing instructions for an emergency preparedness kit the instructions need to be accessible Overview

4 Advocacy Organizations and Other Relief Organizations Advocacy Organizations are key in getting the message out and consulting on many different issues Advocacy Organizations can offer insight if a shelter is accessible Organizations such as the Red Cross needs to be consulted on accessibility because not all people with disabilities need medical attention Overview

5 Raising Awareness Educate the public through media (radio, T.V., local news) so we can all plan together- we should never plan in isolation Always incorporate disability specific planning tips in general emergency planning brochures, posters or media events Everyone has a friend or family member with a disability, who is elderly, or temporarily disabled (due to illness, broken leg, etc.) Individual Preparedness

6 Go-Kit items for People with Mobility Disabilities General items (see handout) Disability specific: current medications, gloves to use when pushing a wheelchair across debris, supplies such as insulin or catheter equipment, small hand air pump for tires. Service Animal-extra food, water bowl, favorite toy, extra leash, treats Individual Preparedness

7 One Go-kit is Not Enough! You cannot plan where you will be when disaster strikes. Have ready: Large kit at home with additional food items for prolonged sheltering in place Small, easy to carry To-Go Kit that you can grab and run or roll with. To-Go Kit for the car. To-Go Kit at work. Individual Preparedness

8 Bed-Side Kit Many individuals with mobility limitations require assistance to get in or out of bed. If disaster strikes overnight, you may be stuck in bed until someone can get to you. Bed-side Kit can be kept velcroed to your bed side. Kit would include: Cordless phone or cell phone and charger, water, medicines, food, flashlight, and contact phone numbers. Individual Preparedness

9 Disability specific information A person who is non-verbal, has a speech impediment or who may have difficulty breathing or talking when moving quickly or in areas with smoke or poor air, may choose to add a pre- printed card to their To-Go Kit. This card can explain disability specific information that you may want rescuers or shelter workers to know. Individual Preparedness

10 Introduction Card - Communication Assistance A non-verbal person or person with a speech impediment may have in their To-Go Kit an alphabet and key word card that they can spell with, that includes a brief pre-written sentence explaining how they communicate with the card and giving their name. The card can also provide information on using a communication device that may have been packed in a backpack during evacuation. Individual Preparedness

11 Introduction Card - Medical Conditions A person who may be prone to an asthma attack or a diabetic incident could explain this on a card along with information on what to do and where in their kit the needed supplies are kept. If a person has a Medical Alert Bracelet, this is also a good item to wear or carry in the To- Go Kit to alert those who may be assisting to a particular medical condition. Individual Preparedness

12 Who Needs a Support Team During An Emergency? Everyone! All of us will need people we can count on during a crisis. Individual Preparedness

13 Increased Support Needs in Emergencies- Mobility is Situational Plan ahead and consider your abilities in disaster conditions During an emergency situation, there may be conditions such as flooding, or debris that makes it more difficult than usual to move around the neighborhood There may be a need to walk distances and carry supplies We may become fatigued, hungry, over heated or cold, which can negatively affect mobility These circumstances can create a need for more support than we may require on a daily basis. Individual Preparedness

14 Daily Support For those of us who use a personal care attendant on a daily basis and who rely on others for transportation, WHO will assist us with these tasks during an emergency? Individual Preparedness

15 Support Team-Think 3 We may not be near our primary support people when an emergency occurs. Develop a Support Team of 3 people in each setting you are routinely in during the week who are willing to assist you if an emergency occurs while you are there. Individual Preparedness

16 Check Your Routine Where are you routinely during the week? Home Work Church Recreation activities Volunteering Individual Preparedness

17 Choosing the Right Support Team Consider what type of assistance you will need and identify people in each setting of your weekly routine who may be able to help. Individual Preparedness

18 Choosing the Right Support Team Consider who may be able to assist you: Do they have the physical stamina to provide physical assistance (lifting, helping with transfers, pushing wheelchair, etc.?) Convenience of assisting (how many children do they have of what age, is there space in their car for one more, etc.). If you require accessible transportation, would they be available to stay behind with you until assistance arrives? Individual Preparedness

19 Identify Then Ask Talk to the 3 people you identify in each setting Discuss the type of assistance you would need in an emergency and find out if they would be able and willing to assist you. Individual Preparedness

20 Planning Ahead If you can plan ahead for an emergency event such as a hurricane: Contact your identified support team and find out if their availability to assist has changed in any way. Determine ahead of time who will assist you-if you can, rotate assistance among your support people throughout the year so you are not always calling on the same people. Physically connect with your support team early, so there is no possibility that the storm may arrive early and keep them from getting to you. Individual Preparedness

21 Be Pro-active Orient your support team ahead of time to key tasks that you will need them to assist you with. This may include practicing helping you to transfer into a car, how to fold your wheelchair, or the proper way to turn off or charge up a battery or communication device. Put it on your calendar to touch base with your support team once every quarter to see if their circumstances or ability to assist has changed in any way. Be sure to keep them updated on your contact information, including your home, cell and work phone numbers. Individual Preparedness

22 Communicating Emergency Information When planning any method of communication during an emergency, the planner should consider how this method of communication will be adapted for people with hearing, visual or mobility disabilities. Evacuation

23 Planning Must Be Inclusive People with mobility limitations access information through media the same as everyone else. People with mobility disabilities may also have a secondary disability such as hearing or vision loss. Evacuation

24 Keys to Effective Communication Evacuation Ensure that news coverage of impending emergency situations are close captioned including breaking alerts. Make sure that writing on the screen does not cover line 21, the close captioning line on TV screens. When issuing an audio alert on TV indicated by the beep then followed by writing on the screen, make sure that whatever is written is also verbally provided so that individuals with visual disabilities will also know what is going on.

25 Keys to Effective Communication If a police car goes through a neighborhood with a siren to alert people to a danger, they should also use blinking lights. If an officer walks door-to-door to let people know about an emergency, they should have something in writing also on a card that they can be ready to show someone who cannot hear what they are saying. Evacuation

26 Evacuating People Using Mobility Devices Individuals who normally use a power wheelchair but who take their manual in an emergency may need extra assistance – they may not be able to push themselves in their manual chair. Those who have only a power wheelchair or who are at work or the mall in their power wheelchair when an emergency occurs, will require accessible transportation. Evacuation

27 The Importance of Mobility Devices If someone is separated from their wheelchair, they are no longer mobile and independence is greatly jeopardized. Common equipment that will be left behind in an evacuation include shower chairs or benches, Hoyer lifts, transfer boards, grabbers and reachers, walkers and an alternate wheelchair. Evacuation

28 Mobility Barriers To Evacuation Cost of transportation Ability to get to pick-up points Whether the evacuation vehicles are accessible (including a wheelchair lift and tie downs) Traveling together-people who use accessible transportation need to ride with their family, friends, or support team-to stay with, and not be separated from, whoever will be assisting them. This includes service animals. Evacuation

29 Mobility Issues During Rescue People with mobility disabilities often have very individualized ways that we need assistance being carried or transferred to avoid injury. When possible, rescue workers should ask what is the best way to assist us. We can have this information pre-printed on a card if we have difficulty speaking or explaining. Evacuation

30 What Makes a General Population Shelter Accessible All shelters should meet basic A.D.A. standards for accessibility and accommodations. There should be an entrance with no steps, and wheelchair accessible restrooms. Nothing should protrude into walkways that a person with a visual disability would not see and might walk into. When announcements are made verbally, they should also be posted in writing to accommodate someone with a hearing disability. Sheltering

31 What Makes a General Population Shelter Accessible Be ready to orient someone with a visual disability to where things are in the shelter and to guide them if they need to walk to another building or to transportation. Service animals should be welcomed. Sometimes an accommodation is as simple as providing an extra pillow so someone who needs to sleep with their head elevated due to a heart condition or sleep apnea can do so. Sheltering

32 The Next Level of Support Some additional items and services that could be added to a general population shelter to make it more accessible and accommodating would include: Higher cots to make it easier to transfer into from a wheelchair Having a transfer board and Hoyer lift available If phones are available for shelter residents to use, have a TTY available for persons who are deaf A sign language interpreter for shelter announcements A refrigerator for medicines that must be kept cold A generator for individuals who depend on technology that requires electricity Sheltering

33 People with Disabilities at the Planning Table People with disabilities are the experts on ourselves and our needs. The way a person with a disability accommodates themselves on a daily basis is the foundation on which services and supports during a crisis will need to be based. Our goal in planning will be to maximize and maintain independence during and after the disaster. Future Planning/Next Steps

34 Participating in Local Planning Locally, we know the strengths and weaknesses of current services. We know how people with disabilities access transportation, housing and supports in our community. We know whether many of the buildings and public places that may be considered for shelters are accessible or we could assist to survey them. We can offer suggestions based on our experience in our locality that can help make planning more efficient and thorough. We can also help get the word out to other people with disabilities that we may know in our area. Future Planning/Next Steps

35 Accommodations to Participate in Planning Meetings May need communication access-Braille, large print, CART, or sign language interpreter. May need accessible transportation or funds to pay for transportation to attend meetings. May need a personal care attendant to assist during meetings (with setting up books, papers, communication device or to assist in restroom, etc.) or funding to pay an attendant. Future Planning/Next Steps

36 People with Disabilities are a Vital Part of Our Communities People with disabilities are the largest minority group, cutting across ethnic, cultural, gender, and socio-economic lines. Group is larger still when you add those with an illness, temporary disability (i.e. broken limb), and those who are elderly. Effective planning must include and meet the needs of those with mobility, visual and hearing limitations. Future Planning/Next Steps

37 When Planning is Inclusive Then we can all work together and support each other with our unique abilities and strengths Surviving a disaster takes the cooperation and talents of everyone! Future Planning/Next Steps

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