TRANSCRIPT: Preparedness for People with Disabilities.

Hello. My name is Dee Smith. I’m the director of disaster services for the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri.

If you have a disability, being ready for an emergency is a part of maintaining your independence.

When a disaster happens, the first priority for the authorities is basic needs — food, water and safe shelter. Your special needs, such as replacing medications, getting adaptive equipment up and running, and restoring the regular support you need for daily living activities, may not be taken care of right away.

Think about what you will be able to do for yourself and what assistance you may need before, during and after a disaster. Plan ahead now, before disaster strikes.

In addition to basic supplies, you may need to include a few extra things in your supply kit.

If you take medicine or use medical treatment on a daily basis, make sure you keep enough on hand to make it on your own for at least a week.

If you go to a clinic or hospital for routine treatments, or if you use a home health care service, ask about their emergency plans.

If you depend on one person to shop or run errands for you, plan what you would do if that person can’t reach you for several days.

If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor about how you should prepare for a power outage.

What special equipment would you need to take with you if you were evacuated? Your disaster supply kit should include a list of the style of the style and serial numbers of any medical devices or adaptive equipment you use, along with extra batteries.

Include the names and numbers of everyone in your personal support network, including your medical providers.

If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information includes notes about the best way to communicate with you.

Making a personal disaster plan will help you organize the information you will need and actions you need to take during and after a disaster. Keep copies of the plan in your disaster supplies kit, car, wallet or wheelchair pack, and share your plan with your network of family, friends and caregivers.