If you are a person with a disability, have a family member or friend with a disability, or assist a person with a disability, in the event of an earthquake or another natural or manmade disaster:
- What would happen to the person who uses equipment that runs on electricity, such as dialysis or an electrical lift if electrical services were disrupted?
If you are a person with a disability living alone but depend only on one person to assist you in your daily living activities and to shop or run errands for you:
- What would you do if your family member, friend or assistant could not reach you because roads are blocked or because a disaster has affected him or her as well?
Dealing with a disaster can be difficult for people of all ages and abilities. But dealing with a disaster can be especially difficult for people of all ages who have a disability.
Government agencies and other agencies who respond to disasters cannot be everywhere at once and may not be able to reach you or your family immediately. When a disaster occurs, the first priority of government and disaster relied agencies is to provide basic needs – food, water and safe shelter – to everyone that needs them. As a person with a disability, your personal needs, such as replacing medications or replacing adaptive equipment may not happen right away. So for a person with a disability, being ready for a disaster is part of maintaining your independence.
In the event of a major disaster, Los Angeles County emergency responders will need every person – with or without a disability – to contribute to community survival and recovery. People with disabilities already have developed innate resourcefulness, ingenuity and determination gained through the daily challenges of disability and can help the community at large and enhance the effectiveness of emergency operations.
It is important for everyone to be prepared to meet his or her own basic needs for several days in the event of a disaster. Knowing about disaster threats and their aftermath and being prepared are critical for staying self-sufficient after a disaster. Although you may not know when a disaster will strike, by planning ahead, you gain confidence that you have provided well for the safety and security of yourself and your loved one within your home following an emergency such as a fire, flood or an earthquake.
This web page includes basic information on some of the steps people with disabilities can take to prepare for an emergency. We will be adding additional information in the near future. Please visit our web site again to view new material.
At the end of this section, there are links to a number of organizations that have disaster-related materials for people with disabilities. Many of the organizations have booklets with detailed step-by-step guidelines for emergency preparedness that are posted on the web sites. These materials can be downloaded for free from their web sites.