Functional Needs

Planning for Functional Needs


Be Informed

  • Know what types of emergencies are likely to occur in your area.  This includes tornadoes, winter storms, earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, etc.  
  • Follow all instructions that you receive from authorities on the scene.
  • Stay calm, be patient, and think before you act.
  • Purchase a NOAA weather radio.  These radios are your "smoke alarm" to severe weather events.  These radios can also be adapted to meet any special needs you may have.  This includes having a flashing light, a bed shaker, and a siren.  
  • Most electronic stores sell NOAA weather radios. 

  • Click the button below for more information.

Make A Plan

Have a Communications Plan in place.  A disaster can happen with no warning and you need to be able to communicate with family, friends, and coworkers.  

  • Create a support network.  Make a list of family, friends, and others who will be a part of your plan.  Make sure you include someone that lives in a different area than you do who may not be affected by the emergency.  
  • Ensure everyone knows how you plan to evacuate your home, school, or workplace in the event of a disaster.  Include where you will go.
  • Give a spare key to someone in your support network and tell them where you keep your emergency supplies.  Teach them how to use any lifesaving equipment that you may use and what medicines you take so that they can help you evacuate if necessary.
  • If you receive regular services, talk to your provider about their emergency plans.  Ensure you have a back-up in place with other service providers within your area and the areas that you might evacuate to.  
  • Make sure your employer is aware of any assistance you may need in the event of an emergency.
  • Develop a Family Communications Plan.  This plan should include contact information for your family, your doctor, your school, your work, etc.   
  • Know when to stay and when to evacuate.  Monitor televisions, radios, internet, and social media news reports for official instructions as they become available.  

  • Consider your service animal or pets in your planning.  If it isn't safe for you to stay home then it isn't safe for them.  Make arrangements in advance for shelters that will work for you and your animals.  

  • Click the buttons below for more information on making a plan or for a printable communications plan.


Build a Kit

Create an Emergency Disaster Supply Kit for your home and a lightweight one you can take with you if you are being evacuated.  When creating your kit make sure you have enough supplies for each person in your home to last three days.  Some items you should include in your kit are:

  • non-perishable food
  • water
  • tools
  • copies of important documents such as family records, medical records, deeds, wills, social security number, charge and bank account information, and tax records
  • small denominations of cash or traveler's checks
  • information regarding how to operate equipment or life saving devices that you may rely on
  • a copy of your communications plan
  • copies of medical prescriptions, doctor's orders, and style and serial numbers of the assistive devices you use
  • a week's supply of medications or medical supplies that you use regularly (or as much as you can keep on hand)

  • medical alert tags or bracelets

  • copy of insurance cards

  • extra eye glasses, hearing aids, and hearing aid batteries if needed.

  • supplies for a service animal or for your pet

  • list of allergies or chemical sensitivities you may have.  Include items that you are able to use for personal hygiene and cleanup.

  • Click the button below for a more detailed list of what to include in your kit.