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The following checklist was developed by United Cerebral Palsy to help community providers of services for individuals with disabilities to fully engage their organization, including staff, volunteers and the individuals they serve, in community, organizational and personal preparedness for emergencies and disasters.
Your organization can play an important role in community emergency preparedness through the following:
Community Planning. Participate in community emergency planning efforts. Ensure that both staff and people with disabilities are fully participating in the community planning process and effectively communicating the perspective of people with disabilities.
Your services. Identify the primary services you think you will continue to provide following an emergency.
Basic resources. Identify the critical material resources necessary to maintain these operations.
Staff personal/family preparedness. Encourage staff to have a personal, family or home emergency plan to increase the likelihood that staff and their families can cope with the disaster without outside help.
- Site security. Check and turn off gas, electricity and water if evacuating.
- Fire suppression. Check for and suppress small fires and attempt to notify fire department.
- Search and rescue. Ensure everyone has evacuated. Quickly search the facility for people who may be trapped or injured. Help if possible. Note and record situation for other responders, including names and location.- First aid. Administer first aid to injured persons.
Government funding. Make an emergency agreement with government funders for interim continuation of funding during an emergency.
Health information. Have multiple copies of a health information card, with one that stays with each individual, including information on medications, equipment, allergies, sensitivities, communication style, preferred treatment, medical and care providers, and important contact people.
Medication. Have an emergency medication protocol that will ensure a 7-14 day supply of essential medications, maintaining extra supplies, current prescriptions and/or emergency agreements with medical providers.
Equipment. Have an emergency durable medical equipment protocol, including attaching simple handling instructions to all equipment, with copies in emergency kit(s).
“Carry-along” supplies. Assign staff to maintain a small kit (fanny pack, backpack or bag) of “Carry-Along Supplies” that each individual you serve keeps with them at all times, containing:
- His/her health information card.
- Instructions on personal assistance needs and how best to provide them.
- An emergency communication card (For individuals with cognitive disabilities, it might say something like: “I cannot read. I communicate slowly. Please speak slowly to me. I can point to or understand simple pictures and some words.”)
- Reduced copies of important documents such as Social Security card, Medicaid card, government ID, etc.
- Copies of prescriptions.
- Flashlight on a key ring.
- Emergency signaling device such as a whistle, beeper, bell, screecher, flashing light, etc.- Small battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
Practice, practice, practice. Conduct periodic drills/practices, without fail. Staff and individuals served will turn over.
Adapted and reprinted with permission from “When Disaster Strikes: An Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Providers of Services and Supports for People with Disabilities,” published by United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Washington, D.C. Retrieved June 6, 2007 from www.ancor.org/issues/disaster/UCP_when_disaster_strikes_05-06.pdf. For further information call UCP at 800/872-5827 or visit www.ucp.org.
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Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/201/default.html). Citation: Moseley, C., Salmi, P., Johnstone, C. & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Spring/Summer 2007). Impact: Feature Issue on Disaster Preparedness and People with Disabilities, 20(1). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration].
The PDF version of this Impact, with photos and graphics, is also online at http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/201/201.pdf.
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