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Hurricane Preparedness for Those with Special Needs May 28 2008 7:26AM
News Release
Date: May 28 2008 7:26AM
Release: Immediate
DIAL 2-1-1 IF YOU NEED A RIDE

If you are a Texan who lives in an evacuation zone and you require special assistance to evacuate during a storm – including the elderly, people with disabilities, or those who simply will need a ride – call 2-1-1 to register for a ride. Information can be provided in almost any language including Spanish. Assistance is also available for emergencies, food, housing and shelter, education, legal, childcare, physical and mental health, financial assistance, and transportation.

Operators have been specially trained to take your basic, confidential information so that you can get to safety when a storm threatens the coast. Register well in advance of a storm by calling  2-1-1 (in Texas).

TIPS FOR TEXANS WITH DISABILITIES OR SPECIAL HEALTHCARE NEEDS

Create a support network by making a list of family, friends, co-workers, personal attendants, service providers and others who can be part of your emergency plan.  Choose at least three people in each location where you spend time, such as home, school and your workplace.

Work with your support network to create a personal emergency plan not only for hurricanes but for all hazards that can impact your community, from a neighborhood fire to a major disaster of any kind. You should have a different plan for places you spend time regularly: home, work or school. Remember to include strategies you already use to deal with power outages, or transportation delays or breakdowns.

Learn about emergency exits in your school or office building and be sure you have at least two ways to get out of your home in an emergency. Discuss emergency exits and plans with officials in your school or workplace.

If local officials call for a hurricane evacuation, consider whether you want to shelter with friends and family, and how that would work for you. Also consider how a shelter designated for the public would meet your needs.

Make sure you and members of your support network have a list of contact information for everyone in the network, along with names of your doctors and other service care providers.

Make sure you have alternate ways to communicate if phones are not working (such as an assigned meeting place, use of pagers, e-mail or other technology that does not depend on phone lines). In case telephones and cell towers are not operational, you may want to make a list of contact information on paper that you normally store in electronic devices.

For individuals who use relay services, there are several options: dialing 7-1-1 (nationwide - landline), captioned telephone (CapTel), Internet-enabled relay service (Internet Relay and Video Relay Service - Internet).  Individuals who have wireless notebooks, pagers or PDA can call Internet Relay Services.

Ask yourself what resources you rely on regularly and determine how a hurricane, electric power outages, lack of air conditioning or refrigeration might affect your access and ability to use them. This checklist can help.

-Do you use communication devices?

-Do you depend on accessible transportation to get to school, work, medical, appointments or to other places in your community?

-Do you receive medical treatments (e.g. dialysis) or self-administer treatments such as glucose testing and insulin shots on a regular basis?

-Do your medications need refrigeration?

-Do you need assistance with personal care?

-Do you rely on equipment depending electricity or other special medical equipment?

-Do you use mobility or daily living aids such as a walker, cane, wheelchair, scooter, bath safety or other bathroom products, dressing aids, drinking straws, etc.?

-If you have a service animal, do you know the plans in your city and state regarding service animals? Do you know what you will need to bring with your service animal— such as food and feeding bowls, identification tags, veterinary contact information, and proof of vaccinations.

In addition to a basic emergency kit, you may need the following items in your emergency kit:

Medical equipment and assistive devices (glasses, hearing aid, catheters, augmentative communication devices, cane, wheelchair, scooter, walker, dressing aids, oxygen, tubing, feeding supplies, drinking straws, etc.) Label each with your name and contact information. Be sure to have extra batteries and chargers

-List of model numbers or serial numbers of medical devices and equipment

-Medical alert tags or bracelets and written description of your disability-related or health care conditions  

-Medications and copies of all prescriptions, including a list of the
prescription name, dosage, frequency, doctor and pharmacist. Also consider if medications need to be refrigerated and if so, bring a
cooler with an ice pack or other coolant system

-Special hygiene supplies such as absorbent pads

-Phone numbers and names of your physicians or other health care providers

-Supplies for a service animal including food, identification tags, proof of up-to-date vaccinations and veterinarian contact


More Information About Evacuations and Special Healthcare Needs
Llame al 2-1-1 Si Necesita Que Lo Lleven