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How can a person with a disability prepare for a disaster?

Disasters can strike quickly and without warning, forcing people to leave or be confined in their home. People with disabilities and their family members should make plans to protect themselves in the event of an emergency. It is also important that first responders know how to evacuate people with disabilities safely and quickly.

Here are some tips from Oregon's emergency preparedness training program, called "Ready Now":

  • Develop a back-up plan. Inform caregivers, friends, family, neighbors or others who might be able to help during an emergency.
  • Stock up on food, water and any necessary prescription medications, medical supplies or equipment. Have enough to last at least a week.
  • Make a list of emergency contact information and keep it handy.
  • Keep a charged car battery at home. It can power electric wheelchairs and other motorized medical equipment if there is an electricity outage.
  • Learn about alternate transportation and routes.
  • Understand the responsibilities and limitations of a "first responder" (for example, members of your local fire department of law enforcement office) during a disaster.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.