Emergency PreparednessIn New England, we tend to worry about the weather - the occasional hurricane, and annual winter storms. In between - maybe a Nor'Easter will hammer us, but usually not on a large scale. Flooding problems have been on the rise. When you read the DPC guide, you will learn that other disasters can occur. It makes sense for everyone, especially people with disabilities who rely on specific services and medical supports, to be prepared. Many of the recommendations are common sense, and many are things you may not have thought about. Read the resources below, and make your own list of what you would need to manage or even to survive if a disaster occurs. After you make your list, then follow it!
In addition to physical disasters, the Center for Disease Control has web resources for preparing for a public health emergency. And we also have found excellent resources to help local governments and town managers plan for emergencies.
Anyone who has life-dependent power needs or other daily requirements for medical care or services should register now at their Town Hall with the Civil Defense Emergency Preparedness staff.
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA )
- For a true emergency, dial 9-1-1 as usual.
- 2-1-1 reaches Commonwealth’s primary telephone information call center during times of emergency. The easy-to-remember 2-1-1 telephone number will be utilized as a 24/7 resource for human service and Public Safety/disaster response and planning agencies.
- The Disability Policy Consortium has compiled a very useful presentation. This file is large and will take time to download, but is well-worth reading. It gives both compelling examples of emergencies, and practical advice on how to prepare. emergency_preparedness_disability_training.pdf.
- DPC also has a Personal Emergency Plan booklet that also can be downloaded or ordered.
- FEMA and the American Red Cross have partnered on another booklet entitled Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs. This is also a large file, and also worth reading. red-cross-fema_emergency-prep-disabilities.pdf
- MA Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency with primary responsibility for ensuring the state's resilience to disasters.
- FEMA Home page should have up-to-the-minute information on any ongoing problems.
- Prepare, Plan and Stay Informed contains FEMA's general advice on preparedness.
- FEMA Resources and Links page - Preparedness Resources for People with Disabilities
- Preparations for People with Disabilities
- Make A Plan for Individuals with Access and Functional Needs
- American Red Cross Home page should also have current information.
- Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities at Disability.gov
- Coping with Disaster - Trauma and Disaster Mental Health Resources from the CDC
- Massachusetts Emergency Service Programs for Mental Health Crises or Emergencies. Or Call Statewide ESP Toll Free # 877-382-1609, then enter your zip code. Services available to all ages with MassHealth (Medicaid), Uninsured, Medicare and various commercial insurance companies
- CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Emergency Preparedness for Individuals
- Flu Prevention
- FYI: CDC Works for You 24/7 describes what the CDC is doing.
Resources for Preparation by Community Responders
- FEMA's Office of Disability Integration and Coordination held a conference in September 2011 called Getting Real II - Promising Practices in Inclusive Emergency Management for the Whole Community . With a focus on Best Practices from across the country, this conference should be viewed and/or read by all local governments and managers.
- Disability.gov has extensive information for ensuring that people with disabilities are considered in planning - from planning, to evacuation, to making shelters accessible. Another must-read for all local governments and managers.
- MA state officials have compiled some safety precautions for people who have lost power, and are using generators and other means to heat their homes. Before you try any non-traditional heating method (Gas oven is NOT a safe way to heat even the kitchen!), read this short document. home-hazards-during-power-outages.pdf