Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Prepare for emergenciesPeople with disabilities need to prepare for emergencies, too.

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. For people with special needs disabilities, being prepared is a matter of life or death. If you are on your own, you need to have a plan.

The first step is to consider how an emergency might affect your individual needs.

Think about a given day, what do you do, what do you need and who can help you? Work on a plan to make it on your own for at least three to five days. It is possible in an emergency that you will not have ready access to a medical facility or pharmacy. Basic supplies for survival include food, water and clean air. Consider assembling two kits. One to use at home and one to take with you if you have to leave home.

Recommended basic emergency supplies include:

*    Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
*    Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener if kit contains canned food and where possible, extra medication.
*    Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
*    Flashlight and extra batteries for any necessary electronic equipment
*    First aid kit; a week’s supply of any prescription medicines; include copies of all prescriptions and dosage instructions; copies of medical insurance, Medicare and Medicaid cards; instruction for operating any equipment or life-saving devices you rely on
*    Whistle to signal for help
*    Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
*    Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
*    Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
*    Local maps
*    Pet food, extra water, collar with ID tag and supplies for your pet or service animal

Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency.

Write it down and keep it with your emergency supply kit. For every aspect of your daily routine, plan an alternative procedure. Create a personal support network. Share your plans with them and make sure that someone in your support network has a key to your home and knows where you keep your emergency supplies. Practice it. Keep a list of network contact information in your wallet. If you need to evacuate, select a shelter that can accommodate your needs.

It’s important to stay informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region. For more information about preparing for emergencies for people with disabilities, click here for a printable document.

Information from Ready.gov

Additional Articles in September 2014 newsletter include:

Leadership: Restoring order during catastrophic chaos

Growing your own food all year

Home Security Checklist

Introducing the UV Paqlite

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs from our Solar Chef

Be Disaster Aware

Add a Survival Net to Your Bug-Out Bag

Joe Nobody discussed the uses of the survival net during the Survival Summit. You can use it to build 10 life-saving items in a pinch. The survival net is lightweight, has a 1” grid weave, and is available at military surplus stores. The standard issue net is 6-8 feet wide by 12 feet long. It comes complete with “S” hooks, MOLLE pouch and paracord. It should cost less than $30. The “S” hooks should be rated at 200 pounds.

Survival Net Uses Include:

  • Hammock – sling it between two trees; take some small twigs and cut some grooves in them and weave them into each end of the hammock to create a sleeping platform and keep it from bunching up on the ends. Practice doing this. Don’t under-estimate the time it will take to get this set up. String up a poncho or plastic bag above to keep moisture off. A hammock will provide better thermal comfort than sleeping on the cold or wet ground. It is much quicker to break camp with a hammock than a tent. It is lighter and takes up less space in your pack.
  • Ghillie suit or camouflage cloak – weave plant branches and leaves into the opens. It breathes better than commercial ones. Make it mid-calf length to allow for more mobility and minimize snagging. Camouflage is not always wooded; use this in different environments. Take whatever is common and secure it to the net. It is always best to avoid confrontation. Use this to get through an area without being detected.
  • Litter – it can be used as a stretcher to carry someone. Use thumb sized limbs for support. Weave the limbs along both edges and at the end. It is easier to drag an injured companion. The greener the wood the more flexible it is.
  • Fishing net -
    • Create a two man drag; one on either side of the creek. Add some rocks on one edge to serve as resistance so it sinks to the bottom.
    • Add rocks on the corners and secure with hooks. Fling it like a Frisbee on top of the fish. rocks will sink and trap the fish in the middle of the net. Weave paracord around the edge to be able to retrieve it with ease. You do need to throw where the fish are. Find them next to structures they might use for hiding places.
    • Make a fish pen by using stakes to create a fence with the net. Attach paracord or other rope to close it.
    • Hiding place – local foliage can be woven into or stacked against the net. Hang one side and let one side fall to the ground and fill in with greens and twigs.
    • Blanket, jacket or raincoat – strips of bark or shaved wood can be woven in for insulation. Plastic bags can be secured to the mesh to form a raincoat or poncho. Old newspapers can be woven in for insulation as well as pine needles, leaves, foliage and even vines. Rags and scraps of clothing can be woven into the net to create a barrier. Heat small rocks or stones in a campfire and secure them in the net for a large scale warmer.
    • Climbing tool – roll up net to use for short ascents. Twist it into a rope. The girth of the twisted net provides sufficient hand hold. Gear ties can be woven into the net for hand/footholds. This works for descending also. Heavy gear can be raised or lowered in a bundle.
    • Cargo Bag - the net can handle more weight than you can carry.
    • Snare - use it to catch small game with some bait and wire.
    • Door Security - securing the net with small hooks around a door frame can make any threshold extremely difficult to breech. This also works for windows. It is hard to cut through. Add something that jingles as a warning.

Reproduced with Permission

Additional Articles in this month’s issue:

Billie Nicholson, Editor
May 2014

72 Hour Kit Rotation Required

72 hour kitTime to Check Your 72 Hour Kit

In the September 2013 “Every Needful Thing” newsletter, we included a list of items to pack in an emergency escape bag, AKA your 72-hour kit. Hope you made one!  We included some things that can last a long time and others that have a shorter storage time. This month is a good time to pull out the bag and review it’s contents.

  1. Exchange the food - Did you pack some granola bars and cracker packets? How about some nuts or peanut butter items? Many of these items contain oil of one kind or another that oxidizes or goes “rancid” if kept for over six months. Take out your snacks and eat them – or at least taste them to determine if they are still fit to eat. As you eat them, add these items to a list as a reminder to replace them on your next shopping trip.  It’s a real disappointment to open one of these packs and find them yucky. Can you imagine how bad you would feel if you were in an emergency situation and that is all you had to eat? Do you have an 72-hour kit for your children? Are they still eating those “chicken sticks”? Have their favorite snacks changed? Staying up to date on their  favorites will make a disruptive situation a little more comfortable.
  2. Check clothing sizes - This is a good idea for adults as well as children. Kids are always growing and changing sizes, so make adjustments by including some currently fitting and well used clothes for them.  Since disasters can happen any time of the year, a bag of extra jackets for snow or lighter weight clothes for warmer weather is a good idea. Adults, include some extra socks, “sweats” or jeans and long sleeve shirts that can be rolled up if necessary,. Rain ponchos are a must, how does yours look?
  3. Rotate Batteries & Medicines - Do you have battery operated items like two way radios or flash lights in your kit? Batteries leak when stored for a long time and can ruin the item they’re in.  Remember to store batteries separately. Prescriptions have expirations. Rotate these, too.

Keep Your 72 Hour Kit Updated

References:

http://www.ready.gov/kit

Additional Articles in the April 2014 Issue:

  • A discussion of the importance of “duck and cover” in surviving a nuclear attack
  • What are your plans to provide protein in your diet in an emergency situation? Here are some items to add to your supplies …
  • Are members of your family hearing impaired that might not hear a smoke alarm?
  • Our featured contributor this month is Tess Pennington of ReadyNutrition.com. She shares an article about Bio Mass Briquettes. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly use for those shredded documents.
  • Sun Ovens are a perfect partner for bio mass briquettes, here’s how …
  • Some of our friends have complained that their yards were so shady that they doubted they could grow anything in a garden. In answer to their questions, here are some plants that can be grown in shade. Don’t give up on your yard either. Read more …
  • Speaking of gardening, do you use Epsom salts? Here’s why.
  • We can all be prepared to take the initiative to save a life, should we be faced with a life or death situation. Here are three critical first aid procedures that can be accomplished with one dressing.
  • Our Solar Chef has included a wonderful recipe for Solar Stuffed Shells. Give it a try, these are yummy.

 

Billie Nicholson, Editor
April 2014

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