Special Needs During a Disaster
Caring for Animals
If you allow pets at your establishment, you need to plan for their safety in the event of a catastrophie. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.
The likelihood that animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.
If you evacuate, DO NOT LEAVE PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work; consider shelter outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for animals yourself.
Individuals with Disabilities or Access & Functional Needs
Prepare for persons that have a disability or an access and functional needs.
Stock a special disaster supply kit. Stock these custom essentials in your kit along with your basic needs supply kit, to be able to survive for 3 to 5 days or longer, if people cannot get to you. For example, your kit may contain items such as durable medical equipment, assistive technology, food for special diets, prescription medicines, diabetic supplies, hearing aids and batteries, a TTY, manual wheelchair, and supplies for a service animal.
One of the biggest challenges to your safety and access to information is loss of electrical power. You should plan alternate ways to charge communication and assistive technology devices before disaster strikes.