Preparing for Hurricane Florence

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 11, 2018 # Health, Home Modification, Safety

Staying Above the Rising Waters: How Your Own Personal Emergency Preparation Can Save Your Life

With Hurricane Florence hitting the U.S. in a matter of days, it is important for individuals living with disabilities to take extra precaution. There is the chance of power outages, flooding, or emergency evacuations that can last from a few days to a few weeks.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare to keep you, your caregiver, and family safe and calm in any situation:

1) Create a plan:

  • Knowing exactly what needs to be done will go a long way toward ensuring that an evacuation can go as smoothly as possible, given the circumstances.
  • Know your exits, and if and how you’re able to access them.
  • Have a way to effectively communicate with first responders if you are unable to evacuate.
  • Have plenty of water, medical supplies, and non- perishable food items in case you are unable to leave the house.

2) Pack the essentials:

  • Prepare a “go bag” with everything in it that you’ll need for an extended period of time. Think about those things that you need personally, and put them in that bag. A good idea is take notes for a period of several days, writing down what it is you use on a daily basis, so you’ll know exactly what you should bring.
  • Think about things like consumable supplies and sterile equipment that you may need.
  • If you can’t bring your chair on the day in question, still bring your chair’s cushion to avoid health risks.
  • If possible, pack pillows and cushions for sleeping, as wherever you stay during evacuation may not have the necessities you need.

3)Plan for the unexpected:

  • Do you have enough cash? Power outages could mean no ATM access.
  • One of the main worries with hurricanes is flooding, which can cause water damage to personal files and electronic devices. Put all of your important documents on a thumb drive, so that you’ll know where and how to get critical, life-saving supplies, medication, and the like, or be able to access important insurance information, phone numbers, email addresses and the like.
  • If your day-to-day depends on electricity, think about how you will access it should the lights go out. Do you have a generator in place? Does the place you are evacuating too going to have back up power in case of power outages?

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has compiled a list of resources for people living with paralysis who may be affected by the incoming Hurricane Florence.

You can also contact a Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialist to order a “Tips for First Responders” booklet.