Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
During a disaster, it has been certain at-risk individuals, specifically those with access and functional needs, may require additional response assistance before, during, and after an incident. Depending on the disaster, it may be up to 72 hours before emergency personnel arrive. This means it is critical to have a personnel preparedness plan and supplies, should you need to shelter in place or evacuate.
This fact sheet contains suggested guidelines that may vary depending on one’s own personal health preparedness capabilities.
Build a support team of people who will help in an emergency and provide them with instructions as they will be best suited to help in an emergency. Support teams can include friends, family, co-workers, or caretakers.
A summary of medical needs is especially important so that rescue personnel can best meet your needs.
Your doctor should be able to assist you with the information to include on a summary of medical need but at a minimum it should have:
Consider putting the following documents in a fire-safe/water-proof container. Copies of prescriptions and medical needs could also be stored on an external hard drive or USB that can be taken with you.
Important Documents and Resources: Keep in a safe area and send copies as appropriate to your out-of-state contact.
Make sure that your survival kit contains items that will meet daily functional needs. Have a plan for medical treatments and medications.
Life-support devices that depend on electricity: Contact your local electric company about power needs for life-sustaining devices (home dialysis, breathing machines, etc.) in advance. Some companies can put you on a “priority reconnection service” list. Let the local fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices. If possible, obtain a means of back-up power (generator, batteries, etc.) in the event the power goes out.
Take charge and practice how to quickly explain to people how best to assist you. Be prepared to give clear and concise instructions to rescue personnel and shelter staff.
Please refer to the following resources for more descriptive information and ready-made checklists and guides to prepare for a disaster.
Home | Contact Us | Accessibility | Privacy Policies | Disclaimer | HHS Viewers & Players | HHS Plain Language
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), 200 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20201
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | USA.gov |
HealthCare.gov in Other Languages