Dec 27 2021 Winter safety tips for those with Disabilities to help you get through the severe weather:
The Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education shares the following information from The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
Winter safety tips to help you get through the severe weather:
• Stay informed. Watch the local news, listen to local radio, use smartphone apps to receive up to date weather information. Sign up for local text alerts.
• Be ready to help each other! Check in with emergency support contacts (neighbors, caregivers, family, friends, and personal assistance providers) before bad weather happens.
• Being out in snow and cold can put extra stress on the heart and respiratory systems. Avoid overexertion by limiting or omitting activities like shoveling or traveling through snow.
• Wear layered clothing, gloves, hat, scarf, & a warm coat. For individuals who use wheelchairs, wrap a blanket around your legs to keep warm.
• Let someone know when you are going to leave, where you are going and when you plan to be back.
• Freezing rain and snow can stick to adaptive equipment (canes, walker, wheelchairs, scooters). Wear gloves to keep hands warm and provide better grip on devices. Wear good shoes/boots to avoid falls.
• Protect your service animal’s feet, use boots or clean them off once you get inside.
• Clean your adaptive equipment after being outside. Make sure you clean off any salt or other de-icing chemicals to avoid rust.
• Use Ice melt products or non-clumping kitty litter for extra traction on ice.
• Stay healthy: Water, non-perishable food, can opener, food for children pets/ service animals, medication supply, hygiene items, first-aid kit
• Electricity powered devices: if you rely on electricity to maintain your independence, ask your power company about a priority power list.
• Oxygen: If you rely on oxygen talk to your vendor about emergency replacements.
• Dialysis or other types of specialized medical treatments: talk to your health provider about what to do in the event of a winter storm or other emergency.
• If you must travel, first call your transportation service. Van services may only provide trips that are medically necessary during a major snow event. Even then, these services cannot provide transportation for you if they cannot get to you.
• When leaving the house, have an emergency kit with essential medications and some extra food and water. Make sure the kit is small enough to bring with you. If you have a service animal, make the kit has supplies for them as well.