September is National Awareness Month

By Mary Castro Summers, Project Director – Family TIES of Massachusetts, FCSN

emergencyPreparedness is a state of readiness. Emergency preparation is a way to empower your family and reduce the impact of emergencies of all kinds. Remember, emergencies may not always have to do with a family member’s special needs or disability.

Know-Plan-Prepare are three active steps we can take according to national, state, and local emergency planning agencies.

  • KNOW what emergencies may occur to you: Severe weather (like last winter’s piling snow or tornadoes this spring), fire or power outages, or medical emergencies.
  • PLAN the steps to keep your family safe. You may need to stay at home (“shelter in place”) or leave your home (“evacuate”). Learn how to make your home safe in the event that you cannot go out (long winter storms). Find out what your local community offers for public shelters. Consider other options, like family in another area or a medical facility, to care for complex health needs.
  • PREPARE for both types of sheltering and create a small supply of food, battery-operated radio and lighting, warm clothing in case heat is out, and methods for recreation to keep spirits up. Gather medical kits, a collection of important papers, and a sense of being prepared. As a family, develop a plan and practice it periodically.

The Disability Indicator Registry in Massachusetts is a voluntary registry to alert local emergency planners that there is a family member with special needs. The Disability Indicator Form is easy to complete and available on the Family TIES website.

To learn more, contact Family TIES of Massachusetts (800-905-TIES) and review these informative sites: