Step 1 - Know yourself and your community

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Every individual with disability has their own capabilities and needs, which is why at the first stage of being emergency ready it is important to identify areas in our lives where we may require a bit more assistance in the eventuality of an emergency situation.


Personal Assessment

Take some time to reflect on various aspects of your life that may highlight issues which may require extra planning including home, work, travel and other places you spend a lot of time.

Consider what you can do in each area and what assistance you may need during or after an emergency.

To assist in this step you can download a form to make note of these potential issues.  This form also gives some examples of things you may need to consider.  

People Close To You And Your Supporters

Involve People Close To You 

  • Consider the people in your life who could be involved during an emergency situation.
    • These people should be aware of your capabilities and your needs, and be able to assist in minutes.
  • Not only should you consider immediate family and friends, but also consider others including work colleagues, neighbours.
    •  Choose people who you trust;
    • Do not depend on one person, you need to anticipate people not being available, for example on leave/holiday.  Attempt for a minimum of 3 people to know your emergency plans.
  • When your emergency plan has been created provide them with a copy.  

Training To Use Assistive Devices Or Medication?

Consider if any of these individuals need training on how to use any assistive devices or medication you may use?  It may be difficult to show someone in an emergency situation how to use items, so it is highly recommended to provide training before an emergency occurs.


Make arrangements for a trusted individual to have a set of keys to where you live.  In the eventuality of an emergency situation, they may be required to gain access to your property.

Know Your Community

Community Hazards

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Research your local community; are there any natural hazards the area may be affected by?  Title deeds may have this information within land searches or you can find information searching on the internet, or through your local council.  Your local library may also be able to provide you with information.



Community Response Plans 

Are there designated emergency shelters/evacuation sites in your community, or in areas you spend a lot of time?

Are there evacuation plans for those who do not own vehicles?

You may wish to contact your local emergency services for this information.

Community Warning Systems

What systems do the local authority have in place to warn of pending emergencies?

At what cost?

'Mapping where natural perils impact on economic growth and communities' is an interactive map created by IAG that may help you assess you own community and the risk of different natural disasters. The map can be found here.


Page references: American Red Cross, Australian Red Cross


Step 1 Checklist

Have you done a personal assessment?

Have you reviewed your personal support network?

What training does your personal support network need?

Keys and access to your home?

Have you researched your local community?
Such as evacuaton points, community response plans, warning systems and assistance programs.