Basic disaster preparation includes the assembly of a disaster kit. This kit could be used in the home or in a public storm shelter. Visit Disaster Preparedness: Supply Kit for Disasters for more information regarding recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit.
Caregivers have unique needs
According to specialists at the Mississippi State Emergency Management Agency, there are three actions a caregiver should take when planning in advance for a disaster:
1. Establish a network team
One of the most important things a caregiver can do ahead of time is to establish a support network team. This team should have at least three people and can include neighbors, friends, relatives, volunteers and/or staff from social service agencies. Together, the team should decide how they will communicate during a disaster, and how they will help the caregiver before, during or after a disaster.
2. Determine the needs of the person receiving care
The caregiver should develop a list of the care recipient's special needs, including medications, dietary requirements, and special equipment.
3. Identify and know your community resources
Before a disaster, caregivers should determine what kinds of community assistance will be available to help in times of need. Social service agencies may have a registry for those who need special assistance. Some shelters are able to accommodate people with special needs, such as the assistance of service animals, while some shelters are not. It will be important to identify these shelters before a crisis.
Related resources about disaster preparedness:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Emergency Preparedness Concerns for Older Adults: http://www2a.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=10778 (Audio)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency - Preparing Makes Sense for People With Disabilities and Special Needs: http://www.ready.gov/document/preparing-makes-sense-people-disabilities-and-special-needs