Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs

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Acknowledgements

This guide was prepared by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with Emergency Management Ontario. It is based on the Government of Ontario's publication, Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs – a cooperative effort between twenty public and private organizations who were consulted for their subject matter expertise and special insights. For a copy of the Ontario guide, please visit www.ontario.ca/emo or call 1-888-795-7635.

Our partners

This publication was developed in collaboration with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, the St. John Ambulance, The Salvation Army and the Province of Ontario.

This publication is available online at GetPrepared.ca.

Please note: Publications are not available in regular print format.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2010

Cat. No.: PS4-26/1-3-2010E
ISBN: 978-0-662-47999-4

Introduction

Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility. All Canadians are encouraged to be prepared to cope for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency, while emergency workers focus on those in urgent need.

This guide provides information on preparing an emergency plan and kit for people with disabilities/special needs and for caregivers.

While disasters and emergencies affect everyone, their impact on people with disabilities/special needs is often compounded by factors such as reliance on electrical power, elevators, accessible transportation and accessible communication – all of which can be compromised in emergency situations.

By taking a few simple steps today, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies. These basic steps should help you to take care of yourself and your loved ones during an emergency.

Emergency preparedness involves three basic steps:

  1. Knowing the risks
  2. Making a plan
  3. Getting an emergency kit

For more information on emergency management arrangements for people with disabilities/special needs in your area, contact your municipal Emergency Management Coordinator through your local government, and visit GetPrepared.ca for more information on the risks in your region.

About this guide

Personal Support Network

A personal support network is a group of at least three people you know and trust and who would help you during an emergency.

How do you create a support network?

Emergency Kit Checklist

In an emergency you will need some basic supplies. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. These items may not apply to every situation or every person; refer to the appropriate section in this guide for additional recommended items and select them according to your own needs. Check your kit twice a year to ensure contents are up to date. Re-stock as needed.

Basic emergency kit checklist

Recommended additional items checklist

Tip:

Have a phone at home that does not require electrical power to work (i.e., a corded phone or a TTY ).

Service Animal Emergency Kit Checklist

This checklist identifies the basic items you should prepare to keep your service animal comfortable during an emergency. Make sure the kit is easy to carry in case of a home evacuation.

People With a Disability / Special Needs – Tips

Assisting People With a Disability / Special Needs – Tips

Mobility

Mobility limitations may make it difficult for a person to use stairs or to move quickly over long distances. Limitations may include reliance on mobility equipment such as a wheelchair, walker, crutches or a walking cane. People with a heart condition or respiratory difficulties may also have limited mobility.

Your emergency plan

Recommended additional items checklist

Assisting a person with a mobility disability – what to do

Non-Visible Disabilities

Individuals with non-visible disabilities may have difficulty performing some tasks even though their condition is not apparent. Non-visible disabilities can include communication, cognitive, sensory, mental health, learning or intellectual disabilities which may impair an individual's response to an emergency. Conditions can include allergies, epilepsy, diabetes, pulmonary or heart disease, and/or dependency on dialysis, different supplies, etc.

Your emergency plan

Recommended additional items checklist

Example: People with diabetes

Assisting a person with a non-visible disability – what to do

Hearing

The way that emergency warnings are issued in an emergency is critical to the understanding of instructions and the subsequent response and safety of those with hearing loss.

Your emergency plan

Recommended additional items checklist

Assisting a person with a hearing impairment – what to do

Vision

A person who is blind or has reduced vision may have difficulty reading signs or moving through unfamiliar environments during an emergency. They may feel lost and/or dependent on others for guidance.

Your emergency plan

Recommended additional items checklist

Assisting a person with a vision disability – what to do

Seniors With a Disability/ Special Needs

Seniors, especially those with special needs, should be informed of what to do in an emergency. Contact your municipality to find out about programs and services in your area that will help you during an emergency and assist you in returning to your daily routine.

Your emergency plan

Recommended additional items checklist

Assisting a senior with a disability / special needs – what to do

High Rise Safety

Residents of high rise buildings should make themselves aware of:

Your Emergency Plan

Assisting a person with special needs in a high rise building – what to do

Checklist and Personal Assessment

During an emergency, this checklist will enable emergency responders to better assist you.

I am able to:

I will need specific help with (explain):
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

Important personal information

List your prescription number, name and purpose of each medication (i.e., #34567/insulin/diabetes)

Prescription #: _____________________________________
Name of medication: _____________________________________
Purpose: _____________________________________

Prescription #: _____________________________________
Name of medication: _____________________________________
Purpose: _____________________________________

Prescription #: _____________________________________
Name of medication: _____________________________________
Purpose: _____________________________________

Prescription #: _____________________________________
Name of medication: _____________________________________
Purpose: _____________________________________

Doctor(s): _____________________________________
Phone(s): _____________________________________
Special equipment I use: _____________________________________
Special sanitary aids: _____________________________________
Allergies: _____________________________________
Other special needs: _____________________________________
Special diet: _____________________________________

Health card #: _____________________________________
Private medical: _____________________________________
Policy #: _____________________________________
Neighbourhood contact: _____________________________________
Out-of-town emergency contact: _____________________________________
School contact: _____________________________________
Household pet care: _____________________________________
Veterinarian phone: _____________________________________

Local emergency management contact (for your area):
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

Personal support network contact list (family members, attendants, neighbours, etc.)

Name: _____________________________________
Relation: _____________________________________
Address: _____________________________________
Phone (home): _____________________________________
Phone (business): _____________________________________

Name: _____________________________________
Relation: _____________________________________
Address: _____________________________________
Phone (home): _____________________________________
Phone (business): _____________________________________

Name: _____________________________________
Relation: _____________________________________
Address: _____________________________________
Phone (home): _____________________________________
Phone (business): _____________________________________

Name: _____________________________________
Relation: _____________________________________
Address: _____________________________________
Phone (home): _____________________________________
Phone (business): _____________________________________

Resources

Canadian Paraplegic Association (National Office)
E-mail: info@canparaplegic.org
Website: www.canparaplegic.org
Phone: 613-723-1033

Environment Canada Weather Office
Website: www.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca

Check the blue pages in your local phone book under "weather" for weather report contact numbers.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
(Office for Disability Issues)

Website: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/disability_issues/mandate/index.shtml
Phone: 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
TTY: 1-800-465-7735

Humane Society of Canada
E-mail: info@humanesociety.com
Website: www.humanesociety.com
Phone: 416-368-0405
Toll-free Phone: 1-800-641-KIND (5463)

MedicAlert® Bracelets or Identification Canadian MedicAlert® Foundation
Website: www.medicalert.ca
Phone: 416-696-0142
Toll-free Phone: 1-800-668-1507

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
E-mail: info@mssociety.ca
Website: www.mssociety.ca
Phone: 1-800-268-7582

Public Health Agency of Canada (Division of Aging and Seniors)
E-mail: seniors@phac-aspc.gc.ca
Website: www.publichealth.gc.ca/seniors
Phone: 613-952-7606
TTY: 1-800-267-1245

Salvation Army
Website: www.SalvationArmy.ca
Phone: 416-425-2111 (National Office)

St. John Ambulance
Website: www.sja.ca
Phone: 613-236-7461 (National Office)
Toll-free Phone: 1-888-840-5646

The Canadian Hearing Society
Website: www.chs.ca
Phone: 416-928-2500
Toll-free Phone: 1-877-347-3427
TTY: 1-877-347-3429

The Canadian Red Cross
Website: www.redcross.ca
Phone: 613-740-1900 (National Office)

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