Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Disabilities: Emergency Preparedness Training. Do you have a plan?

Disabilities: Emergency Preparedness Training

More than 1 in 5 Americans have a disability, and many more are at risk for developing or acquiring one in their lifetime through illness, injury or aging.
Disasters can strike quickly and without warning, forcing people to leave or be confined in their home. People with disabilities and their family members should make plans to protect themselves in the event of an emergency. It is also important that first responders know how to evacuate people with disabilities safely and quickly.

Nickole's Story

Photo: Nickole ChevronIn 2008, a rare winter storm buried Portland, Oregon under more than a foot of snow. The city was gridlocked. Nickole Chevron was stuck in her home for eight days. Many people would consider that an inconvenience. For Nickole, whose muscles are too weak to support her body, those eight days were potentially life-threatening.
Born with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that progressively weakens the body's muscles, Nickole is fully reliant on a wheelchair and full-time caregivers for most routine tasks.
Being alone for eight days was not an option. So Nickole signed up for "Ready Now! Adobe PDF file [PDF - 4.8MB]External Web Site Icon," an emergency preparedness training program developed through the Oregon Office of Disability and HealthExternal Web Site Icon.
"The most important thing I learned from 'Ready Now!' was to have a back-up plan in case of an emergency situation," she said. "When I heard the snow storm was coming, I emailed all my caregivers to find out who lived close by and would be available. I made sure I had a generator, batteries for my wheelchair, and at least a week's supply of food, water and prescription medication."

More here!

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