Sunday, August 19, 2012

A “what-if” I hope you never have to experience

tornadoUp until a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have even considered the need for the below information. Since then, however, we had a series of tornados come through our area and one came within a couple of hundred yards of the house. Dozens of homes were damaged and several were destroyed on our road back in March 2011. Many neighbors ended up in emergency shelters.

We also had a forest fire that came very close to our house. With all this happening, we now feel more vulnerable.
  • What if we lost our home?
  • What if our home was damaged to the point we couldn’t safely live there?
  • What if we were forced to evacuate our home?
  • What if we lost power or other services (water and gas) for more than a day or two?
Since these occurrences, we have been doing a little more ‘what-if’ planning. Two questions, however, were not resolved.

  1. What if we were forced to evacuate our home?
  2. How would we manage with my disability? 

MDA’s Quest Magazine has an interesting article on this subject.emergency-shelter

A new federal program provides personal care aides for individuals with disabilities stranded in emergency shelters during a declared disaster

Article Highlights:
  • The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has contracted with two national agencies to provide personal assistance services (PAS) in emergency shelters to individuals with accessibility and functional needs. Federal services are only available if the president has declared a state of emergency or disaster.
  • Personal care assistance in shelters also may be available through local and state programs. The emergency shelter manager is the key contact for all special needs services.
  • Services include assistance with eating, toileting, bathing, grooming and dressing, and assistance with catheters, injections and respiratory needs.

I would encourage you to read the article, print out a copy, and keep it in your emergency information file. I hope you never need it, but just in case … have a plan.

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