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Disaster Preparedness For Those With Disabilities

North Carolina is watching its first hurricane threat for the 2011 season with Hurricane Irene. While we hope it is simply a gentle rain event, it’s important for everyone to be prepared – especially those with a disability or a family member with a disability.

Fortunately, there are several great resources to help those who have had a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury, or have physical, cognitive, visual, hearing and speech disabilities from other illnesses or injuries. These resources address their special needs when preparing their homes, families and pets for disasters.

The Triangle Area Chapter of the American Red Cross serves residents in need in Wake, Johnston, Franklin, Lee, Chatham and Warren counties and collaborates with neighboring chapters in Central North Carolina, Moore and Orange counties.

Phone numbers for local American Red Cross chapters are:
Raleigh (main location) – 919-231-1602
Smithfield – 919-934-8481
Sanford – 919-774-6857

The Red Cross booklet and other easy-to-follow helpful disaster preparedness resources are available on the following web pages:
Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs Emergency Preparedness

Ready American Get a Kit

National Organization on Disability – Visit  and use search words “Disaster readiness”

Preparedness for pets and service animals

And, everyone, disabled or not needs an updated preparedness kit in case of a disaster.

This information was borrowed from the most recent edition of Reconnections, a publication of WakeMed Rehab Hospital.