Connecticut State Officials Offer Tips for Older Populations and Individuals with Disabilities on Ways To Prepare for Hurricane Season and Summer Storms
During the summer months and into the fall Connecticut is often impacted by severe weather including tornadoes, tropical storms and hurricanes with the potential to cause long-term power outages, the need for evacuation to a shelter and property damage. Older populations and individuals with disabilities may have different needs in times of severe weather. Now is the time to prepare yourself, family members and friends for these hazards by having a plan and ensuring you have an emergency kit in place to meet your specific needs.
“Tropical Storm Elsa, last week, was a reminder as to why everyone needs to prepare for hurricane season by having an appropriate emergency kit for their needs and having a plan on where they are going to go should they need to evacuate” said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James C. Rovella. “Public safety is equally important for all of our communities, especially those who are most vulnerable and historically underserved”.
“It’s important to plan ahead in the event of power outages, evacuations and other emergencies, especially as an older adult or a person with a disability,” Aging and Disability Services Commissioner Amy Porter said. “Use available resources and support networks, and make sure you have an emergency kit that meets your individual needs.”
Preparedness Tips for Individuals With Disabilities and Older Populations:
- Contact your local government’s emergency management office. Many local offices can add you voluntarily to a list of people with disabilities so they can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency. These lists are solely for the purpose of assistance in an emergency and will not be shared for any other reason.
- Ensure you have a support network and 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. Click here for Disability-Specific Tips from the Department of Aging and Disability Services.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you use a communications device or other assistive technologies, plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if lost or destroyed.
- Plan how you will communicate with others if your equipment is not working, including laminated cards with phrases and/or pictogram.
- Throughout a severe storm or hurricane have a plan to check on neighbors who may need assistance such as infants, children, older adults and people with disabilities. If you have immediate needs including food and shelter, state resources are available: To find 2-1-1 services available in your area or to search for resources, visit https://www.211ct.org/ or dial 2-1-1.
Before, during and after disaster events, such as major storms, it is important to stay informed and have a plan. For tips, emergency kit planning, communications needs preparedness materials in different languages and more download the CT Prepares app and visit Ready.gov.
For Immediate Release: July 12, 2021
Contact: Eric Scoville,
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
Contact: Kathleen Sullivan,
Department of Aging and Disability Services
(860) 874-5295 (cell)