If you or a loved one has a temporary or permanent issue with mobility, consider the following when developing your emergency plans to increase your personal preparedness.
1. Plan for Yourself & Your Surroundings
- Customized emergency kits with items specific to your needs: a patch kit or seal-in-air product to repair flat tires, pair of heavy gloves for wheeling over glass or debris, spare deep-cycle battery, lightweight manual wheelchair.
- Keep specialized items such as catheters, medication, and prescriptions close at hand. Store emergency supplies in pack or backpack that can be attached to a walker, a wheelchair or scooter.
- Arrange and secure furniture so it does not obstruct a quick exit.
- Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and coworkers to aid you in an emergency, Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate your equipment.
- Alert others of essential medications and health concerns, such as areas of your body with reduced sensation.
- There will be instances where wheelchair users will have to leave their chairs behind in order to safely evacuate a structure. Request that an evacuation chair be stored near a stairwell on your floor.
- Create an evacuation plan with building managers and practice using the chair with coworkers or neighbors.
- Discuss with others lifting and carrying techniques that work for you. Clearly communicate any personal areas of vulnerability. The traditional “fire fighters carry” may be hazardous for some people with respiratory weakness.
- Check with your vendor if your deep-cycle battery can be recharged using jumper cables or plugged into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter using a specific converter cable.
2. Plan for Your Environment & Community
- Be familiar with emergency plans and procedures that exist in places you spend time such as your workplace, school or day care center. Identify how evacuation information will be communicated to you in an emergency.
- If you drive, learn and be familiar with various evacuation routes in multiple directions.
- Identify where you will meet family, friends, or caregivers after an emergency. Pick two places to meet: one right near your home and another outside your neighborhood (e.g. library, community center, or place of worship).
- Wear a medical alert tag/bracelet to identify any disabilities that may not be visually obvious to a first responder.
- Contact your local Emergency Management office to explore the creation of a voluntary registry of people with disabilities located within their jurisdiction.
Kentucky State Agencies & Resources
KY Assistive Technology Loan Corporation
(877)-675-0195 | katlc.ky.gov
(859) 266-2807| ipky.org
KY Assistive Technology Service
(800) 327-5284 | katsnet.org
KY Dept. of Veterans Affairs
(800) 572-6245 | veterans.ky.gov
KY Office of Vocational Rehab
(800) 372-7172 | kcc.ky.gov