Emergency Preparation

[Note: Information in this post come from an email from the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center P.O. Box 1289 – Room R212, Tampa, FL 33601Toll Free: (866) 313-2940  /  Office: (813) 844-4711  /  Fax: (813) 844-1674 http://www.fscirc.com/  -  info@fscirc.com]

Stay ahead of a storm by visiting the National Hurricane Center or tuning into your local news channel.

Please do not under-estimate any storm. Even without direct impact, it is usually the power outages and supply disruptions that cause the most problems. If you have not yet created a plan, you still have time. Here are so me tips and resources to help you:
  • Leave the path of the hurricane if possible. Find out if you are in an evacuation zone. If you can't weather the storm with a relative, friend, or perhaps a hotel, find an emergency shelter.
  • Keep your car's gas tank full. Top off your tank every day. Lines will get long and gas may become scarce the closer a storm gets. Pumps may not operate if the power is out.
  • Go to the grocery store TODAY! Supplies dwindle quickly. You should have a gallon of water per person each day for 3 days, preferably longer. Stock up on non-perishable foods that do not require refrigeration, including pet supplies.
  • Refill your prescription medication. You should have a minimum two-week supply of all your prescription medications. According to Florida law, you can obtain a 30-day refill of your prescription medication - even if you have just refilled it. This law applies if you reside in county that:
    • Is under a hurricane warning issued by the National Weather Service; or
    • Is under a state of emergency executive order declared by the Governor; or
    • Has activated its emergency operations center/emergency management plan
  • Consider having extra cash on hand. ATMs typically do not operate without electricity.
  • Here are some some tips for what to do if the power is out.
Things to add to your Go-Bag of supplies:
  • Battery chargers and extra batteries for motorized wheelchairs, or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices.
  • Copies of medical prescriptions, doctors orders, and the style and serial numbers of the support devices you use.
  • Medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions of your disability and support needs, in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency.
  • An autonomic dysreflexia card if you are susceptible to it. You can print one by downloading a PDF copy of FSCIRC's card.
  • Supplies for your service animal, medical insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, physician contact information, list of your allergies and health history.
  • A list of the local non-profit or community-based organizations that know you or assist people with access and functional needs similar to yours.
  • A list of personal contacts, family and friends that you may need to contact in an emergency.
  • If possible, extra medicine, oxygen, insulin, catheters, or other medical supplies you use regularly.
  • If you use a motorized wheelchair, have a light weight manual chair available for emergencies. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.
  • Even if you do not use a computer yourself, consider putting important information onto a portable thumb drive for easy transport in an evacuation.
Here are some links for further information:
Do not underestimate any storm! Even if your part of Florida has not been affected by a hurricane recently, it will be at some point. It is up to you to take control. PREPARE NOW!