National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort to encourage individuals, families, businesses, and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies. Nationally, Preparedness Month efforts are led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) Ready Campaign, in partnership with related state and local organizations.
Helping People with Disabilities
At www.ready.gov the link “Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People With Disabilities” offers information including a brochure specific to people who have disabilities and other access/functional needs that could affect overall emergency preparedness. While National Emergency Preparedness Month is observed each September, FEMA’s Ready Campaign promotes individual emergency preparedness throughout the year, and recommends keeping certain items in a “Grab and Go” bag near an individual’s bed:
- First Aid kit, flashlight, battery-powered radio, batteries, extra clothes, bottled water, canned food/opener, snacks, whistle, a list of any medical conditions, a three-day supply of current medications, and emergency contact phone numbers.
Staff working in Ohio’s developmental disabilities community have noted success focusing on activities that encourage individuals to prepare and maintain their own emergency supply kit, practice an emergency plan, and be informed about the different threats that may affect them. Service and Support Administrators have advised, “It’s very important to talk about these things when you’re preparing a person-centered plan, so everyone involved has the same information, and knows it’s been discussed.” A helpful handbook, Preparing the Workplace for Everyone also may be accessed online.
Additional information at www.ema.ohio.gov