Are you planned for an emergency?

Be your own ‘first responder’


I was questioned one day on what I would bring with me to a deserted island.


I spent some time thinking about this because I have a physical disability. I have complicated Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (SPG4). It is a rare disease that gradually increases spasticity in the body. With this disease I now use an electric wheelchair to be mobile in the community.


. . .

The question got me seriously thinking how prepared I am for the next, or any, emergency. I wear an emergency alert button where, if I were to take a fall, I can press the button and get the help that I need. I make sure to have some canned items and bottled water around the house but how prepared am I in actuality, for a natural disaster, for example?


Emergency Contacts

So, I created my personal plan. The biggest and most important thing is knowing and having a copy of your emergency contacts. This list should contain three emergency contacts. One of the contacts needs to be from another part of the country. You will have a greater chance of getting through to them with more ‘choice’ of mobile towers, local land lines tied up, in use for emergency dispatch units only, or out of action. The second contact should be closer, but out of your town or city. The third contact is a neighbor (or family member close by) who has keys to your house and that you have ‘trained’ on your own personal evacuation techniques.


Personal evacuation techniques can vary person to person. Every person with a disability needs to figure out what reactions they will have in an emergency situation. I know for myself I might have severe spasms and this could make verbal communication hard for me. So that means I need to have things written down so others can know what needs to be communicated.


. . .

Do your homework and get to know your community resources. Learn to put together your own emergency kit with food, water, medicines and other key necessities.


These are a few guidelines you can put in place as you become your own first responder.


Read the original article:


SOURCE: Santa Clara Weekly. Oct 25, 2017-Oct 31, 2017


Being Emergency-Prepared for People with Disabilities


by Eliza Riley

Eliza Riley is a disability advocate and an ambassador for Abilities Expo She spent time as an AmeriCorps fellow working with CADRE in emergency services and specializing in people with disabilities. She looks forward to seeing and hearing from you at [email protected]


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