For people with physical disabilities

Table of Contents

Hovering over certain tips will make it change color-that means the tip is different from the Tips for Able-Bodies page

PREPARE

        Everyone should know what to do in the event of an emergency, and people with disabilities are no exception. Not everyone will know what to do when they’re involved in emergencies and this way, they will have at least some idea and people with disabilities themselves can do their own preparations.

  • Make sure all emergency items are organized into one place, such as a kit, that is easy to find and carry.
 
  • Tag all special needs equipment, including instructions as to use or move specific equipment during emergencies.
 
  • Complete a checklist and personal assessment sheet and provide a copy to designated helpers/family members. Keep a copy in the emergency kit(s).
 
  • List all food/drug allergies and current medications (for each medication, specify the medical condition being treated, the generic name, dosage, frequency, and the name and contact information of the prescribing physician). Provide the said list to the designated helpers/family members and keep copies in the emergency kit(s).
 
  • If reliant on any life-sustaining equipment if requiring regular attendant care, have an emergency backup plan in the event of a power outage.
 
  • Learn your community/area’s evacuation routes and centers. It also wouldn’t hurt to plan and talk about where your family will regroup when evacuations occur (one near your home, and another near the evacuation center).
 
  • In the event that a disaster strikes in the workplace, it’s best to take note of evacuation routes and centers nearby. Also, having a plan on how to contact other family members is important. Schools can be contacted, and other workplaces.
 
  • Have a list of emergency hotlines and contacts in your person or in emergency kits (there are hotlines available on the website)
 
  • It is best to try to learn first aid and CPR from trainers and/or local Red Cross organizations. This way you can help not only yourself but also your family members and those around you.

DURING DISASTERS

      It’s not impossible for people with disabilities to be in the middle of a disaster, or get trapped. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what to do in this sort of situation. But the following will give them ideas on what they can do for themselves.

WHEN EVACUATED

  • For the deaf: look for strobe lights (if any, or other signals) to be alerted of the need to be evacuated.
 
  • For the blind, wheelchair bound, or those with difficulty walking: their evacuation is prioritised so go to the specific evacuation station and wait for a marshall to assist.
 
  • If separated from helpers/family members, ask others for help and inform them of special needs and how they can assist you. It is best to keep a copy of this in your person, or with a family member with special needs especially when they are blind or deaf.

WHEN AT HOME

  • Stay with helper during the emergency.
 
  • If alone, call authorities using a cell phone, other types of adaptive phones.
 
  • Persons with wheelchairs should stay in place if secure enough, or move to an area of refuge/ evacuation site with an assistant. If there is no assistant, call authorities.
    • Only use the staircase in the worst case scenario, and accompanied by helper/s. Wait until heavy traffic is passed before using stairwell.
     
  • If able to walk individually, albeit with impairment, one may be able to navigate staircases with minimal assistance. Wait until heavy traffic is passed before using stairwell.

POST-DISASTER

  • Tying a broken arm or leg to a long and sturdy object will help to make a temporary splint, which would help support the limb until professional care is available.
 
  • If able to, pressing a cloth to a wound will help to stop the bleeding, but take caution since a dirty cloth could lead to infection.
 
  • If possible, check for damages in your home and report it immediately to family members or assigned helpers. Turn off appliances and utilities immediately when they are damaged.
 
  • Cooperate with community officials when they instruct and advise you to do something for your own safety.
 
  • Check if radios or televisions are accessible and stay updated as much as possible.
 
  • Injured individuals should be transported to the nearest Hospital for proper medical attention. First aid should have been applied to injured persons that are waiting for available means of transport.
 
  • Be prepared if disability aids might get damaged or be otherwise unusable after a disaster. It’s best to have extras just in case.
 
  • Inform family or helper of current status at all times.