In an effort to educate individuals with disabilities about how to escape their homes in an emergency, the Mayo Clinic, headquartered in Rochester, Minn, has released several tips geared toward preparing individuals with disabilities for both large-scale disasters such as floods and tornadoes, and small-scale disasters including home fires.
The clinic’s tips stem from what Lisa Beck, RN, CNS, Mayo Clinic, calls, “an additional need for patients with disabilities to be prepared to respond to disaster situations. As we learned during Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, persons with disabilities need to consider a number of different factors, such as identifying who is in their support system, special transportation needs, and what supplies to include in their emergency preparedness kits.”
Beck recommends individuals with disabilities practice getting out of the house quickly at least twice a year, develop a plan for finding shelter including how to get there and who may need to provide assistance, and to also consider shelter and supplies for service animals. Beck adds that an emergency preparedness kit should be prepared to last 24 hours to 48 hours and should include medication lists, contact numbers, medications, catheter supplies, first aid kit, and an extra set of glasses.
Source: Mayo Clinic