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Make A Plan
Make a Medical Plan: Including Medications and Medical Supplies
Even if you do not use a computer, put important information onto a flash drive or mobile device for easy transport in the event of an evacuation. Have your medical professionals update it every time they make changes in your treatment or care.
  • Maintain a list of phone numbers for your doctors, pharmacy, service providers and medical facilities. 
  • Ask your local pharmacy or doctor to provide a list of your prescription medicine and medically prescribed devices.
  • Make hard copies and maintain electronic versions, including a portable thumb drive containing:

Medical Prescriptions

Doctors’ orders for Durable Medical Equipment, Consumable Medical Supplies and assistive devices that you use. Include the style and serial numbers of the support devices you use and where you purchased them.

Medical insurance cards, Medicare or Medicaid card, a list of your allergies, and your health history.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services online tool helps people locate and access their electronic health records from a variety of sources: http://healthit.gov/bluebutton
Plan for Possible Evacuation
  • During an emergency, be ready to explain to first responders and emergency officials that you need to evacuate and choose to go to a shelter with your family, service animal, caregiver, personal assistant, and your assistive technology devices and supplies. You may want to have laminated instructions in print or pictograms if you may find it difficult to describe your needs and preferences or to be understood.
  • Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services, public transportation or paratransit to identify your local or private accessible transportation options.
  • Be sure all of your assistive devices are clearly labeled with your name and contact information using methods that are resistant to water and other kinds of damage.
  • If you cannot evacuate with your wheelchair, take your cushion.

Note: People should only be referred to a medical shelter when they have acute health care needs and would typically be admitted to a hospital. Work with your community emergency planners to plan for meeting the health, safety and independence needs of disaster survivors with disabilities in general shelters with their family and neighbors.

Make a Power Outage Plan
  • Plan alternative ways to charge your mobile devices, and communication and assistive technology devices before disaster strikes.
  • Plan how you will address your dependence on electricity. Tell your power company if you use oxygen- or mechanical ventilation. Be very clear about what you can expect from them in a power outage.
  • Before disaster strikes, you may register with your power company. They may alert you when power will be restored in an unplanned outage and before a planned outage. This is particularly important if you use oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
  • Continued
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Extra batteries and a spare charger for hearing aids, cochlear implant and/or personal assistive listening device. Keep records of where you got your hearing aids and exact types of batteries.
  • Consider how to receive emergency information if you are unable to use a TV, radio or computer, such as social media or through your mobile device.
  • Use a NOAA Weather Radio for Deaf and Hard of Hearing that has an adaptive weather alert system.
  • Many new cell phones and smart phones have an alerting capability that includes specific sounds and vibrations that can be set to signal users of an emergency.   Download the FEMA app to receive safety tips and weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation, maps of open shelters and disaster recovery centers, information in Spanish and to apply for assistance.
  • Keep a TTY or other analog-based amplified or captioned phone as part of your emergency supply kit.
Blind or Low Vision 
  • Keep Braille/text communication cards, if used, for 2-way communication.
  • Mark emergency supplies with Braille labels or large print.  Keep a list of your emergency supplies 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.
  • If you use assistive technology devices, such as white canes, CCTV, text-to-speech software, keep information about model numbers and where you purchased the equipment, etc.
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 lost or destroyed.  Keep Model information, 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 pictograms.
Mobility Disability
  • If you use a power wheelchair, if possible, have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.
  • Purchase an extra battery for a power wheelchair or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices. If you are unable to purchase an extra battery, find out what agencies, organizations, or local charitable groups can help you with the purchase. 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. (from Nusura/CalEMA)
  • 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.
Service Animals
  • Make plans in advance for your service animal’s health and safety whether you both stay at home, or throughout evacuation.