After a disaster, you may not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore, so it is crucial to plan for the resources you use regularly, and what you would do if those resources are limited or not available. An Emergency Action Plan is an instruction manual for how to stay healthy, stay informed, and stay in contact in an emergency. Because an Emergency Action Plan affects everyone in your household, the whole household should be involved in making and practicing the plan.
People with Special Needs
Children will be less likely to experience prolonged fear or anxiety if they know what to expect before, during, and after an earthquake. Talking to children openly will also help them overcome fears.
Stay In Contact: Know how to inform family, friends, and caregivers of your well-being and whereabouts if your family is not together when a disaster strikes.
People with Special Needs
Additional Planning Steps Should Include
- Know what disasters could affect your area and which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
- Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV, radio, and follow mobile alert and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area.
- Download the FEMA app, receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
- Create a support network. Keep a contact list in a watertight container in your emergency kit.
- Be ready to explain to first responders that you need to evacuate and choose to go to a shelter with your family, service animal, caregiver, personal assistant, and your assistive technology devices and supplies.
- Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic. Work with local services, public transportation or paratransit to identify your local or private accessible transportation options.
- Inform your support network where you keep your emergency supplies; you may want to consider giving one member a key to your house or apartment.
- Contact your city or county government’s emergency management agency or office. Many local offices keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be helped quickly in a sudden emergency.
- If you are dependent on dialysis or other life-sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility.
- If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about how you can prepare for its use during a power outage.
- Wear medical alert tags or bracelets.
- If you have a communication disability, make sure your emergency information notes the best way to communicate with you.
- 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 lost or destroyed. Keep model information and note where the equipment came from (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.)
- If you use assistive technology devices, such as white canes, CCTV, text-to-speech software, keep information about model numbers and where you purchased the equipment, etc.
- Plan how you will communicate with others if your equipment is not working, including laminated cards with phrases, pictures or pictograms.
- Keep Braille/text communication cards, if used, for 2-way communication.
- Preparedness tips for diabetics.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services online tool helps people locate and access their electronic health records from a variety of sources.
- Plan for children with disabilities and people, who may have difficulty in unfamiliar or chaotic environments.
Get Your Benefits Electronically
A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:
- Direct deposit to a checking or savings account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or sign up online
- The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks. Call toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or sign up online
Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event
During and after a disaster, it is natural to experience different and strong emotions. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover from a disaster. Connect with family, friends, and others in your community. Take care of yourself and each other, and know when and how to seek help.
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.
Take care of yourself and each other to cope during an emergency or disaster.
EPAP for Patients - phe.gov
The Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, or EPAP, helps people in a federally-identified disaster area who do not have health insurance get the prescription drugs, vaccinations, medical supplies, and equipment that they need. This program helps people and communities better cope with a disaster and reduces stress on the healthcare system.
People who are eligible for EPAP can file a claim at more than 72,000 retail pharmacies across the United States and its territories for prescription items that were lost, stolen, or destroyed because of a disaster.
If you have questions about using EPAP during a disaster, call the EPAP Hotline at 1-855-793-7470.
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Disaster Safety Plans
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
Download Emergency Preparedness Checklist
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
Checklist on Emergency Preparedness
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lense solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
- Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
- Replace expired items as needed
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and vehicles.
- Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
- Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
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Public Downloads - Español (Spanish)
When available, we provide all our content with a Spanish version in our public download section. You can find additional material from sources listed in all our articles.
Download Severe Weather Educational Fact Sheets, Videos, Coloring and Activity Books
Download Ready Wrigley Activity Books
Educational materials in 23 different languages, including American Sign Language (ASL).
Download Emergency Preparedness Activities
Download Emergency Preparedness Activity Books
Download Emergency Preparedness Coloring Pages
Download Emergency Preparedness Puzzles
Download Emergency Learning Activities
Download Emergency Learning Videos
Playlist: Danger Rangers
Seven animal heroes called the "Danger Rangers," their robot Fallbot, and their artificial intelligence called SAVO teach children about safety through examples, such as environmental hazards and unsafe places.
Worley the Weasel and his badger friends want to hold a secret race. Find out who wins this great race and how the Danger Rangers leap ...into action just in time to show the children the value of pedestrian street smarts.
The hottest new rock bands, the Decibulls, are literally shaking up Hollywood with their dangerously loud music. When buildings start creating serious fall hazards from their ...music vibrations, the Danger Rangers must teach kids how to Play It Safe while playing it cool with music!
The Danger Rangers discover a mysterious pattern of events causing children to play dangerously; our superheroes show children how to have fun and Play ...it Safe at the playground.
When two mischievous boys play with fireworks, the Danger Rangers must come to their rescue - and teach them how to have a Danger Proof Plan ...for a fire emergency.
Everything is "going to the dogs" at the local pooch parade when a stray pup enters the show. The Danger Rangers team up to save the day, ...teaching kids about the dangers of dog bites and how to avoid them and Play It Safe when approaching dogs.
Junior Danger Ranger Talya sets out to shoot a film about the Danger Rangers as they prepare for a bike, skateboard, and rollerblading competition called the "Go ...Games." Teens from all over the world come to compete, but Talya's camera lens focus in on Chancy McSpill and his sidekick Duncan, a pair who think trying every dangerous trick in the book will win the race. The Danger Rangers must race on the chase to slow Chancy down and help him learn that cheating doesn't always win. Find out how to be the real winner when you Play It Safe.
The Danger Rangers celebrate Kitty's birthday with a surprise party, inviting many of the children she has helped over the years. They remind everyone how to ...be Danger Ranger Ready!
When Fallbot blows a circuit board and loses his memory, the Danger Rangers scramble to unscramble his circuits and reinstall all the safety tips he used to ...know so well. However, until Fallbot's completely reprogrammed, he's a rolling disaster waiting to happen! This episode reuses six songs from the series.
When Commander Octagon builds his vast underwater hideout he causes the world's oceans to rise and only the Danger Rangers can save the day! Watch how ...the team of superheroes makes sure everyone is Water Safe.
The Danger Rangers take a cruise ship vacation. However, while helping a young girl overcome her fear of the water, and trying to calm down hyperactive ...funsters, the Brayski Brothers, our heroes get very little rest and relaxation. But when the Brayski's win a treasure hunt, they share their "loot" and everyone gets a great series of lessons in water safety.
The Danger Rangers each receive their own safety assignments - covering many of the most important safety tips from the series.
After hearing tales of old-timer Diaz's mining adventures, some children decide to do a little mining of their own and end up loosing their way. The ...Danger Rangers are off to the rescue finding the missing children and showing them that abandoned homes and dark caves are no place to play.