Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area, and what you need to do in order to prepare for them. If you are older or have a disability, you may want to take extra care in planning for emergencies based on your needs. The following links and tips will be helpful BEFORE an emergency strikes.
Have a plan
- Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
- Create a support network. Keep a contact list in a watertight container in your emergency kit.
- When creating your emergency kit, consider the unique needs you may have, such as for a service animal, medical equipment and more. Disability-Specific Tips
Be ready to explain to first responders that you need to evacuate and choose to go to a shelter with your family, service animal, caregiver, personal assistant, and your assistive technology devices and supplies.
- Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services, public transportation or paratransit to identify your local or private accessible transportation options.
- Inform your support network where you keep your emergency supplies; you may want to consider giving one member a key to your house or apartment.
- Contact your city or town government’s emergency management agency or office. Many local offices, including fire and police departments keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency.
- If you are dependent on dialysis or other life-sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility.
- If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about how you can prepare for its use during a power outage.
- Wear medical alert tags or bracelets.
- Have this card filled out ahead of time with basic medical information that may be helpful in case of emergency.
- If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
- If you use an augmentative communications device or other assistive technologies, plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if lost or destroyed. Keep model information and note where the equipment came from (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.)
- If you use assistive technology devices, such as white canes, CCTV, text-to-speech software, keep information about model numbers and where you purchased the equipment, etc.
- Plan how you will communicate with others if your equipment is not working, including laminated cards with phrases, pictures or pictograms.
- Keep Braille/text communication cards, if used, for 2-way communication.
- Preparedness tips for diabetics.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services online tool helps people locate and access their electronic health records from a variety of sources.
- Plan for people, especially children, who may have difficulty in unfamiliar or chaotic environments.
- If you have a service animal, therapy, emotional support animal, or family pet, identify possible shelters. Many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Consider a pet friendly hotel, boarding facilities and animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter. Other tips for pets and animals.
Get Your Benefits Electronically
A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:
- Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or sign up online
- The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks. Call toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or sign up online
Be Informed – National Resources
Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV, radio, and follow mobile alert and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area.
Download the FEMA app to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States
Be Informed - Connecticut Resources
CT Alert Notification System: CT Alert is an enrollment based notification system that is used to notify the public of impending emergency situations. The public may enroll in this notification system by clicking here.
Severe external weather updates are now posted on the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security's website when sent out through the CT Alert messing system. You may view these alerts by clicking here.
CT Prepares Web Application: The CT Prepares app can be downloaded on both Apple and Android based smartphones. CT Prepares provides information and alerts in emergency situations and incorporates and integrates text messaging, email, and social networking, allowing residents to communicate with family members during an emergency. Users will receive real-time notifications including emergency news, state office closings, and public safety messages.