Emergency Preparedness: Why Emergency Prep for Individuals with Disabilities is Important & How The Ability Center of Greater Toledo Can Help

Emergency Preparedness: Why Emergency Prep for Individuals with Disabilities is Important & How The Ability Center of Greater Toledo Can Help

Everyone should have an emergency plan to be prepared for unexpected disasters. This is something that has especially come to light since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we have seen that a great many individuals are not prepared. Individuals with disabilities have even more to consider when planning for emergencies. This is why the subject of emergency preparedness is one that should be taken seriously and given special consideration.

While individuals with disabilities are typically already prepared for day-to-day occurrences that others may not think to prepare for, there are many areas of preparation that still should be looked at more closely. Do you require medication? If so, do you have enough to last you if you were unable to get to the pharmacy or have more delivered? Do you have legal documents, such as a living will or power of attorney in place if you were to have a medical emergency and unable to make your own decisions? Have you ever tried to engage a fire extinguisher to know if you are physically capable to make use of one? These are just a few topics brought up while reviewing emergency checklists with some individual consumers recently.

Anyone who is interested can reach out The Ability Center and ask to speak with one of the Consumer Engagement Specialists in the Community Living/Adult Programming, or Youth Transition Department for those 24 years and younger, to complete an emergency checklist. For those consumers who have a disability that causes paralysis, The Ability Center obtained grant funding from the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC) to provide individuals with an emergency kits after completing an emergency checklist. The OSILC grant also provides funding for a virtual coffee break series covering different emergency preparedness topics.

To participate in the OSILC grant, simply call The Ability Center and ask to speak to Katelyn to verify your eligibility and begin participating in taking steps to become more prepared if an emergency situation happens in your life.

Written by
Katelyn Merzke
Consumer Engagement Specialist