Emergency Preparedness
Satellite image of a huricane over the Gulf of Mexico.


Tips for Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  • A weather radio (with text display and a flashing alert).
  • Extra hearing-aid batteries.
  • A TTY.
  • Pen and paper (in case you have to communicate with someone who does not know sign language).

Tips for Individuals Who are Blind or Have Low Vision

  • Mark emergency supplies with Braille labels or large print. Keep a list of your emergency supplies and where you bought them on a portable flash drive or make an audio file that is kept in a safe place where you can access it.
  • Keep a Braille or deaf-blind communications device as part of your emergency supply kit.

Tips for Individuals with Speech Disability

  • If you use an augmentative communications device or other assistive technologies plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if it is lost or destroyed. Keep model information and note where the equipment came from (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.).
  • Plan how you will communicate with others if your equipment is not working, including laminated cards with phrases and/or pictogram.

Tips for Individuals with a Mobility Disability

  • If you use a power wheelchair have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup if possible. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.
  • Show others how to operate your wheelchair.
  • Purchase an extra battery for a power wheelchair or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices. If you can’t purchase an extra battery, find out what agencies, organizations or local charitable groups can help you buy one. Keep extra batteries on a trickle charger at all times.
  • Consider keeping a patch kit or can of sealant for flat tires and/or extra inner tube if wheelchair or scooter is not puncture proof.
  • Keep an extra mobility device such as a cane or walker if you use one.
  • If you use a seat cushion to protect your skin or maintain your balance and you must evacuate without your wheelchair, take your cushion with you.

Tips for Individuals Who May Need Behavioral Support

  • Plan for children with disabilities and Individuals who may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who may have difficulty in unfamiliar or chaotic environments.

This may include:

  • Handheld electronic devices (loaded with movies and games).
  • Spare chargers.
  • Sheets and twine or a small pop-up tent (to decrease visual stimulation in a busy room or to provide instant privacy).
  • Headphones (to decrease auditory distractions).
  • Comfort snacks.
  • Toys (to meet needs for stimulation).

Tips for Individuals with Diabetes

  • List of the following information:
    • Type of diabetes
    • All of your medical conditions, allergies and prior surgeries
    • All medications (include pharmacy contact information, active prescription information and eligible refills)
    • Previous diabetes medications and reason for discontinuation
    • Contact information for all your healthcare providers
  • Letter from your diabetes healthcare providers with most recent diabetes medication regimen (especially if taking insulin).
  • Most recent laboratory results (especially A1C, kidney and liver tests).
  • If possible, a 30-day supply of all medications taken by mouth or injection for diabetes as well as all other medical conditions.
  • Include insulin and a severe hypoglycemia emergency kit–if prescribed (always check expiration date).
  • Blood glucose testing supplies and, if possible, 2 glucose meters with extra batteries.
  • A cooler for 4 re-freezable gel packs, insulin and unused injectable medications to be added when ready to go. Note: Do not use dry ice and avoid freezing the medication.
  • Empty plastic bottles or sharps containers for syringes, needles and lancets.
  • Source of carbohydrate to treat hypoglycemic reactions (For example, glucose tablets, 6 oz. juice boxes, glucose gel, regular soda, sugar, honey or hard candy).
  • A 2-day supply of nonperishable food (e.g., peanut butter or cheese crackers, meal replacement shakes or bars).
  • At least a 3-day supply of bottled water.
  • Pen/pencil and notepad to record blood sugar, other test results and any new signs/symptoms suggesting medical problems.
  • First aid supplies like bandages, cotton swabs, dressings and topical medications (antibiotic ointments or creams).

Other recommendations:

  • Wear shoes at all times and examine your feet often for cuts, sores, red spots, swelling, blisters, calluses and infected toenails or any unusual condition.
  • Make sure that all vaccinations including tetanus are up-to-date.