Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Needs

Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

In an emergency, we all have to plan to be self sufficient, and possibly spend several days without utilities, medical aid or communications. Preparing for an emergency is difficult for any parent, and as a parent caring for a child with special needs, you have extra things to think about.

Try to reflect on your child's needs if there was:

    Child with backpack held by father with smiling mother in background
  • No water, electricity, telephone, heat, air conditioning, or refrigeration
  • No local access to prescription refills or health products
  • Separation from family members
  • Confinement to home or evacuation to a shelter or elsewhere
  • Limited health care access and emergency rescue services
  • A lack of transportation

A parent of a child with special needs explains, “I used to get overwhelmed about emergency preparedness, but once I broke it down into small steps it got easier. I put a few items on my shopping list and got other supplies at second hand stores and the Red Cross. I feel better knowing I'm ready instead of worrying about getting ready."

Here are a few tools to help you be prepared, in case of an emergency:

We wish to thank the Washington Family to Family Health Information Center and the American Red Cross-Seattle Chapter for assistance with this information.