Hurricane Preparedness for People with Disabilities

If you have special health care needs and you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, an area threatened by storm surge, it is essential to plan well in advance for the supplies you will need during evacuation from your home and for sheltering in another area.

Hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts through November 30. If you will need help with transportation during a hurricane evacuation, dial 2-1-1 to register in advance for a ride. This service is for people who cannot drive themselves or make transportation arrangements.

Whether you will be evacuating with family, neighbors or friends - or whether you need to register with 2-1-1 for transportation -  here is a special health care needs checklist for emergencies:

1.       Medical equipment and assistive devices (glasses, hearing aid, catheters, augmentative communication devices, cane, wheelchair, scooter, walker, dressing aids, oxygen, tubing, feeding supplies, drinking straws, etc.) Label each with your name and contact information.  Be sure to have extra batteries and chargers.

2.       List of model numbers or serial numbers of medical devices and equipment.

3.       Medical alert tags or bracelets and written description of your disability-related or health care conditions.

4.       Medications and copies of all prescriptions, including a list of the prescription name, dosage, frequency, doctor and pharmacist.  Also consider if medications need to be refrigerated and if so, bring a cooler with an ice pack or other coolant system.

5.       Hygiene supplies including absorbent pads and urinal as needed and personal grooming items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, towel, washcloth, comb, brush.

6.       Phone numbers and names of your physicians or other health care providers, health insurance information, emergency contact information including your support network members.

7.        Supplies for a service animal including food, identification tags, proof of up-to-date vaccinations and veterinarian contact.

Having emergency supplies in easy-to-carry containers will serve you well, no matter what kind of emergency you face.

Here is a checklist ALL evacuees can use in preparing their emergency kits that you can share with friends and neighbors:

1.       First-aid kit

2.       Extra prescription medications, written copies of prescriptions, other special medical items

3.       Important documents and records, photo IDs, proof of residence, information you may need to process insurance claims

4.       Cash (power outages mean banks and ATMs may be unavailable)

5.       Battery-operated radio and NOAA Weather Radio

6.       Flashlight with extra batteries

7.       Phone numbers of family and friends

8.       Road maps, a travel plan, hotel reservations, list of places between your town and your destination you can stop if the highways are clogged

9.       3-day supply of non-perishable food, one gallon of bottled water per person per day,

10.       Coolers for food and ice storage, paper plates, plastic utensils

11.       Manual can opener, knife, tools, booster cables, fire extinguisher, duct tape, tarp, rope

12.      Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and extra clothing

13.       Toilet paper, cleanup supplies, personal hygiene products

14.       Eyeglasses, sunglasses, hearing aids

15.       Special supplies needed for babies, older adults or pets

16       Extra keys

More resources can be found at and