What to Do




Create a Personal Support Network


A personal support network (sometimes called a self-help team) can help you prepare for a disaster. They can do this by helping you identify and get the resources you need to cope effectively. Network members can also assist you after a disaster happens.


They should be people you trust and who can check to see if you need assistance. They should know your capabilities and needs, and be able to provide help within minutes.




Complete a Personal Assessment


Decide what you will be able to do for yourself and what assistance you may need before, during and after a disaster. This will be based on the environment after the disaster, your capabilities and your limitations.


To complete a personal assessment, make a list of your personal needs and your resources for meeting them in a disaster environment. This list should describe both your current capabilities and the assistance you will need. Base your plan on your lowest anticipated level of functioning.


Some Basic Questions to ask yourself are as follows:

Daily Living


Personal Care

  • Do you regularly need assistance with personal care, such as bathing and grooming?
  • Do you use a shower chair or other similar equipment?

Water Service

  • What will you do if there is no water service for several days?


  • Dependent Equipment How will you continue to use equipment that runs on electricity?
  • Do you have a safe back-up power supply and how long will it last?




Getting Around


Disaster Debris

  • How will you cope with the debris in your home or along your planned exit route following a disaster?


  • Do you need a specially equipped vehicle or accessible transportation?


  • Do you need help to get groceries or medical supplies?
  • What if your caregiver cannot reach you because roads are blocked or they are also affected by the disaster?






Building Evacuation

  • Do you need help to leave your home or office?
  • Will you be able to evacuate independently?

Building Exits

  • Are there other exits (stairs, windows or ramps) if the elevator is not working or cannot be used?
  • Can you read emergency signs in print or Braille?
  • Do alarms have audible and visible features (marking escape routes and exits) that will work if electrical service is disrupted?

Getting Help

  • How will you call for or summon for the help you will need to leave the building?
  • Will your hearing aids work if they get wet from emergency sprinklers?
  • Have yo determined how to communicate with emergency personnel if you don't have an interpreter?

Mobility Aids / Ramp Access

  • What will you do if you cannot find you mobility aids?
  • What will you do if your ramps are shaken loose or become separated from the building?

Service Animals / Pets

  • Will you be able to care for your animal during and after a disaster?
  • Do you have the appropriate licenses for you service animal so you will be permitted to keep it if you use an emergency public shelter?