IEMA offers tips on preparedness for people with disabilities - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

IEMA offers tips on preparedness for people with disabilities

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is focusing on helping people with access and functional needs better prepare for emergencies throughout the month of April.

The IEMA recommends that every household have an emergency preparedness plan and kit, but those things are much more critical for households with members who have disabilities, functional needs, or who may need extra assistance during an emergency.

"An ice storm, tornado, or other disaster can leave people without power, heat or water for several days," IEMA Director Jonathon Monken said. "For those who may need some type of assistance, these conditions can be even more dangerous if they aren't prepared."

The IEMA provides guidebooks with preparedness tips for individuals with cognitive impairments, life support systems, mental health or substance abuse problems, mobility impairments, and much more at www.ready.illinois.gov.

Some of the tips the agency recommends for those with functional needs include:

  • Listing key phrases on a card for first responders, such as "I cannot read," "I forget easily, please write things down," or "I communicate using an assistive communication device. I can point to simple pictures or key words, which you will find in my wallet or emergency supply kit."
  • Keeping a complete and up-to-date Emergency Health Information Card
  • Setting a meeting place to connect with household members if you become separated
  • Securing computers and anchoring special equipment

You can find the entire set of guides here: http://www.illinois.gov/ready/plan/Pages/FunctionalNeeds.aspx.

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