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Disaster preparedness for those with special needs
The City of Oklahoma City

If you or someone close to you has a disability or a special need, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency.

Disability/Special Need
Additional Steps
Visually impaired May be extremely reluctant to leave familiar surroundings when the request for evacuation comes from a stranger. A guide dog could become confused or disoriented in a disaster. People who are blind or partially sighted may have to depend on others to lead them, as well as their dog, to safety during a disaster.
Hearing impaired May need to make special arrangements to receive warnings.
Mobility impaired May need special assistance to get to a shelter.
Single working parent May need help to plan for disasters and emergencies.
Non-English speaking persons May need assistance planning for and responding to emergencies. Community and cultural groups may be able to help keep people informed.
People without vehicles May need to make arrangements for transportation.
People with special dietary needs Should take special precautions to have an adequate emergency food supply.
People with medical conditions Should know the location and availability of more than one facility if dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
People with mental retardation May need help responding to emergencies and getting to a shelter.
People with dementia external link will open in new window Should be registered in the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return Program external link will open in new window

If you have special needs: Find out about special assistance that may be available in your community. Register with the office of emergency services or the local fire department for assistance so needed help can be provided.

Check for hazards in the home
During and right after a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause fire is a home hazard. Check for items such as bookcases, hanging pictures, or overhead lights that could fall in an earthquake or a flood and block an escape path.

Be ready to evacuate
Have a plan for getting out of your home or building (ask your family or friends for assistance, if necessary). Also, plan two evacuation routes because some roads may be closed or blocked in a disaster.

The preceding information was supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Additional information is available from the American Red Cross at www.prepare.org External site will open in new window.