Sunday, March 20, 2011

Disability and Preparing for Disaster!!! *MUST READ*

Yesterday I wrote about the disabled dealing with disaster.  yesterdays story about Japanese earthquake and tsunami and its effects on the disabled.  I noticed I didn't provide any links to any resources that could help you prepare for the unimaginable.
     There are certainties after any disaster and the most important one is you are going to be on your own until such time that the government has a good deal of infrastructure cleared and repaired.  This could be hours days or longer.  If your power goes out no one is going to come knock on your door checking on you and that's just a minor breakdown in societies structure.
     From my limited experience with natural disasters I've dealt with a 7 day power outage in the middle of winter. Our disaster was a severe ice storm which you wouldn't think would be that severe except that it dropped half or more of every tree and broke the power lines everywhere. There was a run on generators, the only gas station that was open in the area had an hour line with no guarantee there would be gas when you got to the front of that line. I was one of the fortunate ones I had gas heat and gas hot water but both required some electricity to operate. I also needed to provide power to an electric wheelchair charger on a daily basis.  I didn't own a generator, so I ran from place to place until I found one that had a generator and a couple of gas cans then I spent several more hours securing gasoline. And I was able to provide 1 light bulb and electricity to operate the furnace and the hot water heater, and charge up the wheelchair as needed.
     Being winter time all the food that was in the refridgerator I put in coolers and placed outside to keep fresh and we ate all the frozen stuff that I had accumulated in the deep freeze for several years that week. We were very fortunate as we also had a gas stove and gas and water was working fine from the city. So we ate very well that week knowing that since we lived in town that our power would be restored quicker then if we lived in the country and we just played cards and listened to the radio for a week.
     Now as you can tell from my story I was not prepared but I knew exactly what I needed to provide warmth food and shelter for some time, and I was lucky enough that what I needed was available somewhere.  The availability of a disaster kit during a disaster is definitely not guaranteed! And I can't stress enough that credit card machines are not going to be working in a major disaster, that plastic will be useless! Keep emergency funds somewhere that you can get to quickly!
      The following are a few links to help you prepare for an emergency:

How would you prepare your special needs family for an emergency?  This one is short sweet and concise.

Disability Preparedness Resource Center This is the government site with a wealth of information and links to help prepare yourself for coping with disaster. Preparing for & Responding to Emergencies & Disasters This one will overlap the previous one to some extent but has some other quick to find resources.
     I hope this post and my previous one will help you to ready yourself and your family for success or failure.

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