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"Prepare. Respond. Recover. It's time to get Ready LA" - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
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Persons With Disabilities

Persons with disabilities.

It's a tough world out there. We encounter difficult situations every day For those with physical disabilities, it can be especially challenging. At no time is that more glaring than in emergency situations requiring quick movement and command of all your senses. For those who are blind, deaf, use wheelchairs or have other disabling conditions, a few lost seconds can mean the difference between life and death. If you are physically challenged in some way there are things you can do to help your chances of escape and survival in the face of a disaster

Access for disabled

Access for the disabled

This website is designed for easy accessibility to all. To view the website in text only format by selecting the Page style, no style, option with their web browser for optimum usability. The screen readers, computers hardware, and software vary. To better experience our website the font size and contrast settings may need to be manually adjusted using your computer's hardware or software. For more information on making these adjustments on your computer, visit  the following sites:

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Emergency situations and certain disasters can prove especially challenging. With the proper preparation and logical thinking, you can survive these unforeseen incidents, often without injury. Now let's see how you can improve your chances.

First and foremost, you should plan ahead so that you have the knowledge you need to act responsibly and safely if a disaster occurs. Here are some valuable tips for you to know.

Create your network

Create Your Network

  • Develop a network of trusted individuals such as family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. who can assist you during an emergency. Your network should be part of your planning process. These people should know about your functional abilities and limitations.
  • Exchange important keys with individuals in your network.
  • Show people in your network where you keep emergency supplies.
  • Share copies of your relevant emergency documents, evacuation plans and emergency health information card.
  • Consider how a disaster could affect your daily routines. Make a list of your specific needs before, during and after the event.
Prepare your home or workplace

Prepare your home or workplace

  • Arrange furniture so it does not obstruct a quick exit. Also ensure that your furniture will not be rearranged by a disaster, such as an earthquake – strap water heaters, bolt bookcases to the wall, etc.
  • If you have limited sight, place security lights in the wall outlets of each room to light your exit path. Make sure they will turn on, should there be loss of power. Or use some sort of audio alert devices.
  • Always keep your shoes near your bed so you can put them on during an earthquake to avoid stepping on broken glass and other objects.
  • If you live in a multi-story apartment complex or work in a multi-story office building, find out if the building has designated a temporary shelter-in-place area, such as a particular stairwell.
  • Ensure your exits have a ramp that is safe to use.
  • Install visual fire alarms in your residence. They might include flashing strobe lights or emit noticeable vibrations. Also, make sure that these types of alarms are operating at your work place.
  • Radios for receiving National Weather Service broadcasts in accessible formats can be purchased from retailers. Make sure a TTY/TDD or phone (if you use one) is close to your bed, within arm's reach. Keep any emergency numbers and hearing aids (if necessary) nearby too.
  • Keep any critical communication devices in an easy to reach place.
  • Remember: telecommunications devices may not work in a disaster. Plan as to how you will contact people in your network without those devices.
  • Practice sending and receiving cell phone text messages.

If you have medications

If you have medications

  • Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
If you have a service animal

If you have a service animal

  • If you have a service animal or pet, make sure that it has an identification tag or has been micro-chipped.


Create your own emergency go kit

Create your own emergency go kit

  • Discuss a plan of action with disabled persons before any disaster actually takes place,
  • Be a good listener… a physically challenged individual will have many good ideas about his or her survival in an emergency situation.
  • Understand the magnitude of their specific needs.
  • Arrange for adequate backup resources and transportation vehicles if needed… don’t try to provide all of the help yourself
  • Instill a sense of confidence in the physically challenged person.
  • After helping a disabled person to safety, don’t leave them alone until you’ve notified someone else in authority about their circumstances.


If you have to evacuate
 

If you have to evacuate

Helping people in times of need is a natural reaction. Sometimes it’s something we do without even thinking. But if you’re trying to assist a physically challenged individual in an emergency situation, make sure you know the proper techniques. Doing the wrong thing can be worse than doing nothing at all. Here are some important tips.
  • Discuss a plan of action with disabled persons before any disaster actually takes place,
  • Be a good listener… a physically challenged individual will have many good ideas about his or her survival in an emergency situation.
  • Understand the magnitude of their specific needs.
  • Arrange for adequate backup resources and transportation vehicles if needed… don’t try to provide all of the help yourself
  • Instill a sense of confidence in the physically challenged person.
  • After helping a disabled person to safety, don’t leave them alone until you’ve notified someone else in authority about their circumstances.


If you need to stay at a red cross or shelter

If you need to stay at a red cross or shelter

  • Be prepared to tell shelter operators if you have any specific needs.
  • Federal law allows your service animal to accompany you into the shelter. If necessary, explain this to the staff because some may be unfamiliar with this fact.
  • It is your responsibility to care for your service animal while the two of you are in the shelter.
  • Let the shelter operators know if you need help with personal care.
  • Inform shelter operators of any medical treatments that you regularly undergo, such as kidney dialysis, etc. Provide shelter workers with relevant emergency documents, an emergency health information card or any other pertinent documents.
  • Let those running the shelter know about any medications of yours that require refrigeration.
  • Make sure that the supervisory team at the shelter knows what kind of a mobility aid you use, whether it be a wheelchair, walker or cane.
  • Have a pencil and paper ready to keep track of any new instructions or information you may receive at the shelter.


Useful links

Useful Links




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