Anyone using powered mobility devices, such as scooters and power wheel chairs, should consider carefully how to plan for emergencies such as fires and building evacuations. Understanding what to do in those instances will require some preparation on your part. The purpose of this article is to help you with that preparation. Follow the advice below to help prepare and note the items needed to help create an effective disaster kit.
- Find out what type emergencies or disasters are likely to occur in your area and how you will be warned. Register, if possible, for emergency assistance programs.
- Understand the emergency plans of local organizations you are associated with such as schools, churches, jobs, grocery stores and civic organizations.
- Discuss the plan with family and any caregivers, and designate safe zones or shelters and how to get to them. Routes should be visibly posted near a list of emergency contact numbers for all household members to become familiar with. This includes numbers of neighbors and close friends. Plan for them to check on you in the event of emergencies.
- Prepare for more than one way to exit the home for individuals with a wheelchair. Part of this preparation will mean making more than one of those exits wheelchair accessible.
- Pack extra food for you and household members.
- Be certain additional people understand how to operate equipment necessary for a successful evacuation. This includes understanding how to turn off things such as gas, water, power, etc.
- Consider purchasing a manual wheel chair just in case you are unable to charge your powered wheel chair.
- Apartment complexes should be clearly marked for exit points. You can obtain evacuation plans for your facility or community from the community office.
- Get a battery powered radio.
- You will need a record of your equipment and the serial and model numbers.
- Bring extra batteries for your wheelchair.
- Pack additional medicine, oxygen and catheters.
- Bring a list with your doctors’ names along with a change of clothes and shoes.
- Consider installing sprinklers in your home.
If you have any questions at all concerning how to implement an effective emergency plan for your home, be sure to contact your local authority of emergency management such as the fire department, police department or the local Red Cross.
Aeroflow Healthcare can also assist in making sure you are fully prepared for your mobility needs, so give us a call!