Preparing for Hurricane Dorian

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 03, 2019 # Health, Home Modification, Safety

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

With Hurricane Dorian moving up the east coast of the U.S. and several storms being watched closely, 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 someone outside of the disaster area act as a point of contact for the family if they are separated. Agree to call that person to keep in touch.
  • 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. You should have at least two weeks worth of prescriptions and medical supplies
  • 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.
  • If you are a vent user, see Oxygen: No Person Left Behind's checklist and planning guide for oxygen and respiratory disaster planning.

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 Dorian. For more tips on safety precautions, watch our emergency preparedness video.