Great Preparedness Guide…Disability or Not

Post by: Kim Stephens

The Oregon Health and Science University, in collaboration with the Oregon Office of Disability and Health, the Oregon Institute of Disability and Development, and the Center on Community Accessibility,  have crafted a wonderful emergency preparedness toolkit for people with disabilities. The toolkit was funded by a grant from the Center for Disease Control. Although the 133 page document does include some content specific to Oregon such as addresses of pre-determined neighborhood emergency team staging areas, as well as information about how to sign up on their emergency registry, the vast majority could be used by residents in any community.

The table of contents includes the following:

    •   Basic Steps
    •   What Emergencies Might You Expect
    •   Personal Ability Self Assessment
    •   Emergency Support Group
    •   Emergency Contact List
    •   Neighbor Contact List
    •   Medical Information List
    •   Emergency Information List
    •   Emergency Telephone List
    •   Emergency ID Cards
    •   Emergency Papers
    •   Tips for Specific Disabilities
    •   Disability-Related Supplies and Equipment
    •   Should I Stay or Should I Go?
    •   Things to Know About Your Utilities
    •   Emergency To Go Bag
    •   72-hour Emergency Supply Kit
    •   Storing Emergency Supplies & Food Items to Include
    •   Emergency Supply Kit Check List
    •   Prepare Your Service Animals and Pets
    •   Emergency Evacuation Plans
    •   Summary Checklist
    •   Resources

The information is written in plain english with good graphics and very easy to follow steps and actions to take before, during and after a crisis. It actually would be good for anyone to use, disability or not. For example, the section on how to shut off utilities is one of the most straightforward I’ve seen. They simply state “After you find the valve, turn it slightly. You’ll know the gas is off when the lever is in a straight line from left to right on the pipe.”   The picture above is included as an illustration. They have similar straightforward information about turning off the water.  I remember as a newlywed running around my house after a water leak trying to figure out how to turn off the main valve. I could have used this guide then!

Let me know what you think about it. Did they miss anything?

As a sidenote: I found this toolkit via a Tweet from someone I follow. For those of you who are not “addicted” to Twitter yet, I recommend the platform–it is a great way to find content you care about.

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