Hurricane Season is Here

Hurricane Season started June 1st and while things have been relatively quiet thus far, Hurricane Michael is still fresh in so many of our minds. And our neighbors to the west are still feeling the devastating aftermath of a Cat 5 storm.

Because it is quiet and we know how things can change rather quickly, this is a great time to review your hurricane safety plans and ensure you have appropriate hurricane supplies.

In our Life Skills ADT Program, we have been discussing hurricanes and the importance of having a plan and supplies should we have a storm headed in our direction. We encourage you to do the same at home with your family. Talk with your household members to develop a solid plan of action, gather those necessary supplies, and create a support network to be prepared.

For more information on hurricane preparedness please click here.

Below are some quick tips for individuals with disabilities from

Build a Kit

In addition to having your basic survival supplies, an emergency kit should have items to meet your individual needs in various emergencies. Consider the items you use on a daily basis and which ones you may need to add to your kit.

Tips for People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  • A weather radio (with text display and a flashing alert)

  • Extra hearing-aid batteries

  • A TTY

  • Pen and paper (in case you have to communicate with someone who does not know sign language)

Tips for People Who are Blind or Have Low Vision

  • Mark emergency supplies with Braille labels or large print.

  • Keep a list of your emergency supplies and where you bought them on a portable flash drive or make an audio file that is kept in a safe place where you can access it.

  • Keep a Braille or deaf-blind communications device as part of your emergency supply kit.

Tips for People with Speech Disability

  • If you use an augmentative communications device or other assistive technologies plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if it is lost or destroyed.

  • Keep model information and note where the equipment came from (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.).

  • Plan how you will communicate with others if your equipment is not working, including laminated cards with phrases and/or pictogram.

Tips for People with a Mobility Disability

  • If you use a power wheelchair have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup if possible. Know the size and weight of your wheelchair in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.

  • Show others how to operate your wheelchair.

  • Purchase an extra battery for a power wheelchair or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices. If you can't purchase an extra battery, find out what agencies, organizations or local charitable groups can help you buy one.

  • Keep extra batteries on a trickle charger at all times.

  • Consider keeping a patch kit or can of sealant for flat tires and/or extra inner tube if wheelchair or scooter is not puncture proof.

  • Keep an extra mobility device such as a cane or walker if you use one.

  • If you use a seat cushion to protect your skin or maintain your balance and you must evacuate without your wheelchair, take your cushion with you.

Tips for Individuals Who May Need Behavioral Support

  • Plan for children with disabilities and people who may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who may have difficulty in unfamiliar or chaotic environments.

This may include:

  • Handheld electronic devices (loaded with movies and games)

  • Spare chargers

  • Sheets and twine or a small pop-up tent (to decrease visual stimulation in a busy room or to provide instant privacy)

  • Headphones (to decrease auditory distractions)

  • Comfort snacks

  • Toys (to meet needs for stimulation)

Additional Items

  • At least a week-long supply of prescription medicines

  • A list of all medications, dosage and any allergies

  • Extra eyeglasses

  • Extra hearing-aid batteries

  • Extra wheelchair batteries (or a manual wheelchair if possible)

  • Oxygen

  • A list of the style and serial number of medical devices (include special instructions for operating your equipment if needed)

  • Copies of medical insurance and Medicare cards

  • Contact information for doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt

  • Pet food, extra water, collar with ID tag, medical records and other supplies for your service animal

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Tallahassee, FL 32301