Preparing for Emergencies

Throughout the 4 seasons of January, I rejoiced in the sunshine of a
glorious 65 degree afternoon, watched billowy puffs of snow fall to the
ground and fought through the West Knox traffics as the water poured
down. It was a crazy month!
The older I get, the more I reflect on the scout motto “be prepared”. Our
world has become reactionary with each news channel screaming emergencies
or catastrophic events 24/7 (which gives me a headache with all that
screaming). m not a person prone to worry but do appreciate thoughtful
planning for emergency situations.
Developing an easy-to-remember plan is important. After all, an
emergency plan is not effective if it isn't remembered. This is
especially true for families with older adults, children or family
members with disabilities to consider. Keep your emergency plan
as simple as possible and use places that are very familiar and
hard to forget. Gather your personal support network. This should
include someone from all the places you spend significant
amounts of time.. home, school, workplace. The key is to not just
depend on 1 single person alone. Make sure you also have an out
of town contact in case of evacuation.
Write up and/or print out an emergency checklist and keep it
someplace easily accessible and memorable. This checklist
should include emergency contacts. It should also include local
emergency phone numbers and addresses. A very short list of
important items to be removed from the house may also be
included (i.e. a folder with copies vital documents). Spare car
keys may also be on this list and kept in the same vital folder,
making it easy to grab and go. It may also be helpful to create
separate lists for either members of your family or different types
of emergencies. The most important thing to know when creating
this checklist is that may need to change in a split second. It's
important not to get too caught up in details that might slow down
or endanger your family's wellbeing.
Special considerations for people with disabilities:

Personal care or adaptive equipment and feeding devices- Do you have backup or enough
supplies to last in case of emergency?
Electricity dependent equipment- Do you have a back up battery or generator?
Modes of accessible transportation- How will you transport someone with limited mobility?
Availability of clean water- Does their care require cleaning or bandages?
Service animals- Will they be allowed in temporary living space if evacuated?
Communication- How will you communicate an emergency if they are hearing, visually, or
cognitively impaired?

Creating a disaster supply kit is essential to an effective emergency
preparedness plan. You can never be too prepared, but hopefully this
checklist will get you on your way! Stay safe!

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