Hurricane Dorian could pose a threat to many states on the East Coast this week. United Spinal is urging our members and all people living with disabilities in the path of this serious storm to take appropriate precautions. Now is the time to prepare.

Emergency Preparedness Tips for People with DisabilitiesHurricane Preparedness General Tips
• Identify which medical facilities are close to your house or shelter.

• Plan well ahead of time for accessible transportation in case evacuation becomes necessary.

• Withdraw needed cash before the storm. If you lose power, you won’t be able to use ATM’s and credit cards, or access banks.

• Keep phone numbers for doctors, aides and family in a sealed waterproof bag. Include records (i.e., autonomic dysreflexia card; physiatrists, urologists and PCP’s contact info; medical history; etc.). Consider placing all this data onto a laptop or flash drive that you will have with you.

• Wear medical alert tags or bracelets with information about healthcare needs.

• Have at least a 10-day supply of prescription medicines along with copies of prescriptions; list of all medications and dosage; list of allergies; and list of dietary restrictions.

• Gather needed supplies and assemble a ‘go-kit’ with enough daily catheters and other medical supplies for two weeks or more without your typical supply-chain of monthly supplies. Don’t forget the needs of pets or service animals.

• Gas-top fuel tanks for your vehicles and for running emergency generators well ahead of the storm. With power outages you can’t get gas to evacuate or to shelter in place and run a generator.

• Plan for an evacuation. Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family and caregivers. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.

• Plan how to communicate with family members and caregivers if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.

• Make sure all assistive devices that depend on electricity or batteries are working and keep your batteries in a waterproof bag.

• Keep an emergency supply kit in a backpack attached to your walker, wheelchair or scooter.

• Keep an extra seat cushion to protect your skin or maintain your balance and take it along if evacuation becomes necessary.

• Show others how to operate your motorized wheelchair and have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup.

• Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

For additional tips, visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Additional Resources

1. Disaster Relief & Assistance Sources

2. Emergency Facts & Tips