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Advocate to include individuals with disabilities and other access and functional needs in your community into emergency planning in your community.

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Here are three easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

1. Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information including phone, email, and social media info for your family, friends, caregivers, neighbors and other important people/offices, such as medical facilities, doctors, schools, workplace contacts or service providers.

  • Add information for connecting through relay services on a landline phone, mobile device and computer, if  you are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use traditional relay services or video relay service (VRS)

2. Share your emergency plans with the trusted people in your support network – tell them:

  • Where your emergency supplies are kept
  • What you need and how to contact you if the power goes out
  • If you will call, email or text agreed upon friends or relatives if you’re unable to contact each other directly
  • What medical devices or assistive technology devices that you need to have with you if there is an evacuation order from local officials
  • Your plans to remain independent if you require oxygen or mechanical ventilation

3. Practice your plan with your support network, just like you would a fire drill.

  • Discuss your needs and/or the needs of a family member; learn about their assistance or services. Advocate including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs into emergency planning in your community.
  • Talk with your employer about your emergency plan, and find out how your employer includes the needs of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
  • Contact your city, county, or state office of emergency management, local fire and police department, disability organizations, such as the local Independent Living Center, or community groups.

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