Natural disasters, unforeseen accidents, or sudden disruptions can strike at any moment, leaving us vulnerable in an emergency. An emergency kit becomes a lifeline during critical moments, providing vital supplies and resources that can make a crucial difference between being safe or putting yourself at risk. In honor of National Preparedness Month, the Ability Tools Team is here to help you gather all the necessary AT for your emergency go pack!
It’s important to note that while some items contribute to universal well-being, thinking creatively and considering your own individual needs, as well as those of your family, is crucial when preparing your own Emergency Kit. We’ve offered examples of how specific assistive technology may benefit certain types of disabilities, but we encourage readers to explore which items may meet their specific needs. You can visit Build A Kit | Ready.gov to help you navigate the basics.
Health and Safety
Water Storage and Water Filtration devices are essential for everyone but they become increasingly important to those with chemical sensitivities and require clean water for medical reasons. These devices ensure a safe and accessible water source during emergencies. Water BOB, in particular, is valuable for filling up a bathtub quickly, and can hold up to 100 gallons of clean water. A Jet Boil provides a portable and efficient way to heat water. Smart Pill Dispenser and Medication Reminder Apps like Medisafe or Dosecast, serve individuals with various disabilities, ensuring they have necessary supplies and stay on track with their medication regimen. Portable C-Pap Machine and Portable Oxygen Concentrators offer crucial respiratory support for those with breathing difficulties. Fire Blankets, Emergency Whistle offer safety measures for those with mobility disabilities. CPR Prompt Devices aid in providing timely assistance during emergencies.
Being able to communicate with not only loved ones to let them know you are safe but also Emergency Crew and First Responders is vital in an emergency. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices, Portable Communication Boards, Text-to-Speech Apps can serve people with speech and language communication disabilities. Emergency Alerting System (EAS), Smart Gloves for Sign Language, Voice Amplifiers, and OTC Hearing Aids can serve deaf or low hearing. Environmental Control Systems, and Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) can assist individuals with mobility disabilities, and Smartphone with an Emergency App can assist individuals with vision disabilities in an emergency situation.
Emergency Alerts and Apps
To learn more about about tricks to make phones more accessible in an emergency situation and read up on 10 great apps to help you manage emergencies from the palm of your hand and more you can check out information in archived edition of Ability Tools Blog Emergency Preparedness and Response Apps.
Planning ahead to determine how you will get out of your home or work building in an emergency requires planning ahead. Portable suitcase ramps can be kept near the entryway of a home or in a vehicle to use to safely get in and out of an area with a small amount of steps. Making sure a porch lift has an operational hand crank in the event the power goes out can be a life saver. Be sure you inquire about receiving training on how to utilize Stair Climbing Wheelchairs, Evacuation Chairs, and even Rope Ladders properly if your office has made the investment into one of these. Transfer boards, Adapts Sling, Sit to Stand Chair, and Electric Lifts can all assist in transferring someone in and out of bed, or in and out of a wheelchair if needed and can also serve as emergency transfers. Family members caring for a loved one may consider options that require less physical strength to operate.
Disability Disaster Access & Resources (DDAR) assists individuals with disabilities and older adults in disaster preparedness and recovery. Qualified participants may benefit from using a Goal Zero backup battery for life-saving devices dependent on power. Solar power banks can also help support those relying the ability to charge specialized equipment. Propane Heater can provide warmth and relief for those who have arthritis or other conditions with temperature regulation. A weather radio provides vital information and can be powered by batteries or a hand crank. A battery bank offers a portable energy source for charging essential devices like communication aids or medical equipment. A jump starter can start a vehicle or charge devices. By incorporating these devices, individuals with disabilities can proactively prepare for power outages and navigate emergencies with confidence.
We hope the Ability Tools Team has taken some of the mystery out of creating an Emergency Preparedness Kit that meets your specific needs and keeps your peace of mind and safety a top priority.