Preparing for an Emergency
Now that you have knowledge about the types of emergencies you might experience and how these emergencies might impact you, we invite you to develop your own Personal Emergency Plan.
There are many resources out there to help people to develop emergency plans.
PDCN endorses the Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Toolkit (P-CEP) produced by Collaborating 4 Inclusion as a fit-for-purpose process for people with disabilities to self-assess their preparedness, capabilities and support needs and develop a personal emergency plan for how they will: (a) manage their support needs in emergencies; and (b) act together with their support network before, during, and after a disaster.
The P-CEP toolkit was developed in co-design with the disability community and has been trialled by people with lived experience.
Information about the P-CEP toolkit in a variety of formats can be accessed via the Collaborating 4 Inclusion website.
The P-CEP Action Steps are:
Step 1: Identify your strengths and support needs in everyday life
Step 2: Know your level of preparedness and learn about your disaster risk
Step 3: Make a plan for how you will manage your support needs in emergencies
Step 4: Communicate the plan with the people in your support network and address gaps through collaboration.
We hope that you are now feeling OK to manage emergency situations.
We suggest that you keep a copy of your P-CEP workbook and any other supporting materials in a safe place that is easy to access. You should also provide copies to people who are part of your emergency plan, and anyone else who would be concerned about your welfare in an emergency.
Review and Update
Being prepared for emergencies is an ongoing process!
Your needs and circumstances might change, which will require you to adjust and revise your plans, for example, a contact person might move away, or you may have a change in your assistive technology requirements.
To keep yourself well prepared, it is important to regularly review your plan and check your emergency kit.
Make sure everyone involved in your plan is aware of any changes you make and are provided with a new copy of your plan with those changes.
Expiry dates of all the items in your emergency kits including fire extinguishers should be checked and replaced if necessary. Batteries for torches and smoke alarms should also be checked and replaced. If you can, check your batteries and smoke alarms every 6 months.
Test Your Emergency Plan
While you might not be able to practice all the steps of your plan, it is useful to test your emergency plan by giving it a run through on a regular basis.
Involve any people you might have as part of your emergency contact list and any assistance animals or pets you may have in these practice runs.
Some resources you can to remind you:
Perform a test fire drill: Download ICS Calendar file
Change your smoke alarm battery: Download ICS Calendar file
Practice your emergency plan: Download ICS Calendar file