If you have a disability that could impair your ability to act or respond in an emergency situation:
- Inform the Department of Public Safety of your circumstances and request a brief meeting with the Emergency Preparedness department to discuss any special emergency response considerations (remember elevators may not be working).
- Have a buddy system in place. Find two or three individuals who are willing to assist you in the event of an emergency.
- Develop two escape plans - one with assistance and one without assistance.
- If you are blind or have a visual disability, consider getting speakers for your computer, clock and other equipment that may not normally have visual assistance available. The University Emergency Notification System delivers voicemail messages in imminent life safety situations. Have a buddy system in place for emergency situations.
- If you are deaf or have a hearing loss, consider getting a small portable battery-operated television set. Emergency broadcasts may give information in American Sign Language (ASL) or open captioning. The University Emergency Notification system delivers text and email messages in imminent life safety situations. Have a buddy system in place for emergency situations.
- If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, have an extra battery. A car battery also can be used with a wheelchair but will not last as long as a wheelchair's deep-cycle battery. If available, store a lightweight manual wheelchair for backup. The Department of Public Safety has a limited number of manual wheelchairs available (314) 977-3000. Have a buddy system in place for emergency situations.
- If you use a battery-operated wheelchair, life-support system, or other power-dependent equipment, call your power company before rolling blackouts happen. Many utility companies keep a list and map of the locations of power-dependent customers in case of an emergency. Ask them what alternatives are available in your area. Contact the customer service department of your local utility company(ies) to learn if this service is available in your community.
Modified from American Red Cross information