Preparedness for Seniors and People with Disabilities
The elderly and people with disabilities face special issues when preparing for a disaster.
The region has a number of public and quasi-public entities devoted to emergency preparedness for special needs populations. Learn more on our Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities page.
All Baltimore area jurisdictions have commissions on disabilities. These panels are charged with advising on public policies involving special needs populations, fostering understanding between the special needs community and the community at large and providing support and resources for those with special needs.
The local commissions on disabilities, along with the Maryland Department of Disabilities, continue to work with emergency management experts on issues relating to disaster preparedness for special needs citizens.
Basic Preparedness Tips
If have physical limitations, build a personal support network of people who will check on you following an emergency.
Try to maintain a three-day supply of your prescription medication. If you use oxygen, keep an emergency supply to last at least three days.
Talk with your medical supply company about a backup power source if you use medical equipment requiring electrical power.
If you use battery-powered or electronic mobility equipment, keep a manual wheelchair, canes, crutches and walkers as backups for use in an emergency.
If you have a personal health aide, he or she may not be able to help you after a disaster. Talk with your aide now about whether his or her agency has a plan for providing client services in an emergency.
Keep a whistle handy in case you need to signal for help.
The American Red Cross has produced a comprehensive guide to disaster preparedness for people with special needs, including the elderly. You can view this booklet online at http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/disability.pdf