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Special Needs

Catasauqua Emergency Management
All persons should prepare an Emergency Plan for each place you spend time – home, work, school, and in the community. Review your plan frequently to make sure it is up to date. Share this plan with caregivers or emergency contacts.

Set up a Personal Support Network

Persons who may have difficulty in an evacuation or receiving emergency instructions should set up a personal support network to help you during an emergency. If these members normally assist on a day- to-day basis, talk with them about their availability and the assistance they may be able to provide during an emergency. Members of your network could include family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Plan for more than one person who can help you.

Your own emergency plan should take into account how you and your support network will communicate during and after an emergency. You plan should also cover who will check on you immediately following the emergency.

Some other considerations for your plan:

  • Keep a spare set of important keys.
  • Make sure you can easily get to your Shelter in Place Kit and Go Bag.
  • Keep copies of your important documents. These should include medication and dosage, equipment, and other needs.
  • Decide where you will meet with family, friends, or caregivers after an emergency. Pick two places to meet. One should be right outside your home. Another meeting place should be outside your neighborhood. Consider a library, community center, or place of worship.

Make sure everyone in your support network knows meeting place addresses and phone numbers. Know and practice all possible exit routes from your home and neighborhood.

Ask a friend or relative who lives out of state to be your emergency contact. If Catasauqua area phone circuits are busy, it may be easier to make long-distance calls. Your out-of-state contact can help you keep in touch with others.

Will you need help to evacuate? Determine who will help you and how you will get to a safe place or shelter.

Make sure you have a method for reaching your emergency contacts.

Locate all usable exits from each room and from your building. Make a habit of knowing where the exits are whenever you are in a new location (such as shopping malls, restaurants, movies and theaters).

Know evacuation plans for all places where you spend time. Every building’s plan is different. Find out if there are floor marshals, and if they are responsible for evacuation plans. Be sure to let them know what special assistance you may need in an emergency.

Have a backup transportation plan in case your usual method is not available.

Practice your plans through regular drills. If you practice drills, you can evacuate with greater ease during a real emergency.

Practice dealing with different conditions and unexpected situations, such as blocked paths or exits.

Do you rely on special means of communication, such as American Sign Language or computers that speak? Develop a plan for speaking with emergency workers and other unfamiliar people (for example, writing messages or pointing to words and pictures).

Are you are blind or have low vision? Make sure your support network members practice guiding and directing you.

Include service animals in all drills so they become familiar with exit routes.
Also consider other supplies and equipment based on your special needs. These items may include:

  • Back-up medical equipment, such as oxygen, scooter battery, mobility aids, hearing aids and batteries, and glasses. (Know how to contact your medical equipment provider so they are aware of your new location as many devices need to have maintenance performed on a regular basis or they can check your equipment for damage after an emergency.)

Your emergency kit should not only contain supplies for yourself but also for pets and service animals.

It is highly recommended you also register for the Catasauqua Emergency Management Agencies 911 Community Registry to assist emergency responders in planning and responding to emergencies in which you may be involved.