Preparedness for Citizens With Special Situations

When a state of Emergency is declared in our city some citizens may have circumstances that present additional challenges when preparing for the impending event. Power failure, flooding, evacuation or other events may require special planning and preparation for the elderly, citizens who require special medical equipment and even expectant mothers and families with infants. Below are links to information that you may find helpful when preparing your family for an emergency. As each situation is different, you may have additional questions and concerns. Please feel free to contact the Office of Emergency Management with any questions you may have, we will be happy to assist you. You may email your questions to BC Justin Arnold Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management

Note: If you know of neighbors, friends or family members that have special needs please make sure you share this information with them.

Expectant Mothers

If you have any of the following symptoms, let the person in charge of the shelter know immediately and call your health care provider:
  • Contractions every 10 minutes or more often
  • Leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina
  • The feeling that your baby is pushing down
  • Low, dull backache
  • Cramps that feel like your period
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
These could be signs of preterm labor!

Additional information: Special Information for Pregnant Women (PDF)

Feeding Considerations for Families With Newborns or Infants

If you are able to do so, breastfeeding is recommended in emergency situations. In emergency situations babies have an increased need for the disease-fighting factors and the comfort provided by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be calming for mom and baby. Breastfeeding is recommended during an emergency because it is clean and means that refrigeration, bottles, or water for preparing formula is not necessary. Stress can affect your milk supply, but breastfeeding itself can help reduce stress. If breastfeeding is not possible, have a supply of single serving ready-to-feed formula. Ready to feed formula does not need mixing and water should not be added to it. When using ready-to-feed formula, pour the needed amount into a bottle and throw away the formula the formula must be refrigerated. Do not use water treated with iodine or chlorine tablets to prepare.

Additional information: Special Information for Anyone Caring for a Newborn or Infant (PDF)

Elderly Citizens

If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need on hand to make it on your own for at least a week. You should also keep a copy of your prescriptions as well as dosage or treatment information. If it is not possible to have a week-long supply of medicines and supplies, keep as much as possible on hand and talk to your pharmacist or doctor about what else you should do to prepare. If you undergo routine treatments administered by a clinic or hospital or if you receive regular services such as home health care, treatment or transportation, talk to your service provider about their emergency plans. Work with them to identify back-up service providers within your area and the areas you might evacuate to. If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity to operate, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to prepare for its use during a power outage.

In addition, there may be other things specific to your personal needs that you should also have on hand. If you use eyeglasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, and oxygen, be sure you always have extras in your home. Also have copies of your medical insurance, Medicare and Medicaid cards readily available.

Additional Information: Preparing Makes Sense for Older Americans (PDF)

Special Medical Needs

To plan in advance, think through the details of your everyday life. If there are people who assist you on a daily basis, list who they are and how you will contact them in an emergency. Create your own personal support network by identifying others who will help you in an emergency. Think about what modes of transportation you use and what alternative modes could serve as back-ups. If you require handicap accessible transportation be sure your alternatives are also accessible.

If you have tools or aids specific to your disability, plan how you would cope without them. For example, if you use a communication device, mobility aid, or rely on a service animal, what will you do if these are not available? If you are dependent on life-sustaining equipment or treatment such as a dialysis machine, find out the location and availability of more than one facility. For every aspect of your daily routine, plan an alternative procedure.

Additional Information: Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Special Needs (PDF)