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Special Needs

For the millions of Americans who have physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities, emergencies such as fires, floods and acts of terrorism present a real challenge. The same challenges also apply to the elderly and other special needs populations. Protecting yourself and your family when disaster strikes requires planning ahead.
 
Why Prepare?
 
Where will you, your family, your friends or personal care attendants be when an emergency or disaster strikes?
 
You and those you care about could be anywhere – at home, work, school or in transit. How will you find each other? Will you know your loved ones are safe?
Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning and can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services – water, gas, electricity or telephones – were cut off?

Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone right away. You are in the best position to plan for your own safety as you know what your functional abilities and possible needs will be during and after an emergency or disaster situation. You can cope with disaster by preparing in advance with your family and care attendants. You will need to create a personal support network and complete a personal assessment. You will also need to follow four preparedness steps.
  1. Get informed
  2. Make a plan
  3. Assemble a kit
  4. Maintain your plan and kit

    Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.