Katrina Aid Today Hurricane Preparedness

This is an archived program and therefore, may not contain current information.

Personal Support Network

  • A personal support network is made up of individuals who will check with you in an emergency to ensure you are OK and to give assistance if needed. Identify a minimum of three people at each location. Do not depend on any one person.
  • Make arrangements, prior to an emergency, for your support network to immediately check on you and, if needed, offer assistance.
  • Exchange important keys.
  • Show where you keep emergency supplies.
  • Share copies of your relevant emergency documents, evacuation plans and emergency health information card.
  • Agree and practice a communications system regarding how to contact each other in an emergency. Do not count on the telephone working.
  • You and your personal support network should always notify each other to help each other in an emergency.


  • Work with your doctor to obtain an extra supply of medication, as well as extra copies of prescriptions. Make several copies of your prescriptions and put one copy in each of your survival kits, car kit, wallet, with your emergency documents and your evacuation plan.
  • Ask your doctor if it would be safe to go without one dosage periodically, until an adequate supply has been accumulated.
  • Ask your provider or pharmacist about the shelf life and storage temperature sensitivities of your medication. Ask how often you should rotate stored medication to ensure that the effectiveness of the medication does not weaken due to excess storage time.
  • If you are on medications which are administered to you by a clinic or hospital (such as methadone, or chemo or radiation therapy) ask your provider how you should plan for a 3-14 day disruption.

Carry-On/Carry-With-You Supplies

  • Supplies to keep with you at all times.
  • Emergency Health Information Card that contains information about medications, equipment used, allergies and sensitivities, communication difficulties, preferred treatment, treatment-medical providers and important contact people.
  • Instructions on personal assistance needs and how best to provide them.
  • Copy of emergency documents.
  • Essential medications and copies of prescriptions (at least a week’s supply).
  • Flashlight on key ring.
  • Signaling device (whistle, beeper, bell, screecher).
  • Small battery-operated radio and extra batteries.

Supplies to Add to Emergency Kit

  • Disability-related supplies for up to two weeks. If unable to afford extra supplies, consider contacting disability-specific organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Arthritis Foundation, etc.
  • Life in cramped, unheated shelters can increase the chances of pneumonia and colds. Equip your kits with any vitamins or medications you take to guard against getting sick and to cope with being sick.

Communication - Practice Assertiveness Skills

  • Take charge and practice how to quickly explain to people how to move your mobility aids or how to move you safely and rapidly. Be prepared to give clear, specific and concise instructions and directions to rescue personnel, i.e., “take my oxygen tank,” “take my insulin from the refrigerator,” “take my communication device from under the bed.” Practice giving these instructions with the least amount of words in the least amount of time.
  • Be prepared to request an accommodation from disaster personnel. For example, if you are unable to wait in long lines for extended periods of time, practice clearly and concisely explaining why you cannot wait in line.

Conduct a Self-Assessment

  • Evaluate your capabilities, limitations and needs, as well as your surroundings to determine what type of help you will need in an emergency.
  • Have you designated a room in your home for shelter in case of a chemical or biological attack, and have on hand a roll of duct tape, scissors and plastic to cover windows and vents in the room?
  • Will you be able to shut off utilities (gas, water, electricity)?
  • Can you operate a fire extinguisher? Will extended handles make this item available to you?
  • Will you be able to carry your evacuation kit? Do you have duplicates at other sites?
  • How will you evacuate? Move or secure large objects that might block your escape path.
  • Write instructions for the following (keep a copy with you and share with support network)
  • How to turn off utilities
  • How to operate and safely move essential equipment
  • How to safely transport you if need to be carried, and include any areas of vulnerability
  • List personal care assistance needs (dressing, bathing, etc.) with instructions on how best to assist you
  • Make a map of where to find medications, aids and supplies