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Include People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in Your Emergency Plan

Last week marked the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Make sure your emergency plan covers all the needs of you, your family, or those in your community.

Medical facilities or drugstores may not be open in a hurricane, snowstorm, or other disasters. Include enough supplies for at least three days. The Ready Campaign offers many tips to plan for the needs of people with disabilities:

*Create a support network. Keep a contact list in a watertight container in your emergency kit.
*Contact your city or county emergency management office. There may be local resources to help you prepare.
*Plan for your transportation if you need help evacuating, or getting to a medical clinic.
*Talk to your health-care provider about how to prepare for a power outage if you use electric medical devices.
*Plan how you will communicate with others if you have a communication disability.
*Wear medical alert tags.
*Plan how you will evacuate with any assistive devices. Make a list of the style and the serial number of any of these devices in case they become lost or damaged.
*Store extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries with your supply items.
*Keep at least a week’s supply of prescription medicines. Make a list of all medications their dosage, and any allergies.
*Include copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards in your emergency kit.
*Create a supply kit for any pets and service animals.

Visit Ready.gov’s Individuals with Disabilities page, or watch FEMA’s Ready Campaign video, “We Prepare Every Day,” for more great tips.

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