People with disabilities are more affected by disaster than others in the community. Accessible services might not be available. Hazards like wildfire, floods, and hurricanes can lead to evacuations. 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. If you use a cell phone, you may have to sign up separately.
- Paratransit services may not be available once a disaster happens. 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. Make sure they will come for you UNLESS you tell them not to. That way there won’t be any confusion when the time comes. 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. Think about accessible entrances and bathrooms. What methods of communicating with shelter staff, medical services or assistive devices will you need? 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.