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September is National Preparedness Month.  This year we are asking you to take action now – make a plan with your community, your family, your neighbors, and for your pets.  Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. We ask everyone to participate in America’s PrepareAthon! and the national day of action, National PrepareAthon! Day, which culminates National Preparedness Month on September 30.


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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