Individuals with Disabilities

Making a Plan 

  1. Get informed

    1. Identify disasters you are most likely to face. In Williamson County, most likely hazards include flooding and severe storms. Find out more about local hazards here.
    2. Learn about your community response. Find out what local plans are in place for emergency alerts, evacuations, or sheltering. If you live in a long-term care facility, check with your building.
    3. Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station. Sign up for mobile alerts and warnings. There are a number of alert systems available, from weather apps to our county alert system, on our alert page.
  2. Assess your needs

    1. People who are deaf may need a weather radio with text display and flashing light, extra hearing aid batteries, and pen and paper to help with communication.
    2. For those that are blind or have low vision, you may need to mark emergency supplies and communication devices with braille labels.
    3. Create a personal assessment, make a list of your personal needs and your resources for meeting them in a disaster environment.
    4. Wear medical alert tags or bracelets. Also, add pertinent medical info to your cell phone for first responders.
  3. Plan with your support network

    1. Identify helpers. Keep a contact list in a watertight container or on your electronic devices. 
    2. Make sure someone has an extra key to your home, knows how to use your medical equipment, has a knowledge of your routine treatments, and knows where you keep your emergency supplies.
    3. Plan ahead for any accessible transportation you may need during an evacuation. Establish who can help you evacuate. Make travel arrangements and decide on a meeting place. Know where the nearest medical facilities are located.
    4. Teach those who may need to assist you in an emergency how to operate necessary equipment. Also, label equipment and attach laminated instructions for equipment use.
  4. Develop your plan

    1. Decide how long you can stay home without power before you need to leave. If you will require assistance in vacating your home, ensure that your request allows sufficient time for your helper to arrive.
    2. Prepare for your pets. Think about pet-friendly places to go to if you need to evacuate. Not all shelters allow pets, and some only allow service animals.
    3. Understand your power needs. If you have medical equipment that requires electricity, talk with your doctors and health care providers about what to do during a power outage.
    4. For fire safety, know where two or more exits are from each room.
    5. Understand your insurance needs.
    6. Have a communications plan and emergency contact list.
    7. Gather emergency supplies, including items for medical and personal needs (medications 3-6 days and list, insulated bag, medical equipment and necessities, written info about treatment, insurance cards).
    8. Locate and access your electronic health records from a variety of sources by using the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services online tool.
      1. If you have a communication disability, think about carrying printed cards in your vehicle and wallet that instruct first responders how to communicate with you. Also think about how you can store information in your phone under “medical ID” or “emergency contact.”
      2. If you use assistive technologies, plan for your devices when thinking about evacuations.  

Emergency Kit Specifics and Add-Ons has this list of items to add to emergency kits based on individual needs for those in the following groups:

  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Mobile disability
  • Blind or have low vision
  • Speech disability
  • Alzheimer’s and related dementia
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Additional items

Tips based on Disability

Videos from on personal disaster preparedness for those who are in wheelchairs, hard of hearing, and blind can be viewed here.