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Planning for the evacuation of family members with special needs

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Supporting a family member with special needs is a demanding responsibility. Parents, siblings and other family members may need to provide regular medical support and guidance on a daily basis. Some people with special needs require expensive medical equipment to maintain their health, while others need assistance fulfilling daily responsibilities like showering and obtaining adequate nutrition.

Those who take responsibility for loved ones with special needs do not just need to think about their immediate demands in the moment. Their responsibilities often necessitate planning for a variety of potential future circumstances. Those living in Florida might potentially need to evacuate due to inclement weather, especially during hurricane season.

How can those with family members who have special needs prepare in advance for a potential future evacuation?

Address medical support needs

One of the most pressing issues when preparing for a sudden evacuation is the disruption in medical support that a sudden move could cause. Families may need to have arrangements in place for ambulance transportation in some scenarios. They may also need to make modifications to their own vehicles so that they can accommodate or power equipment while transporting a loved one in an emergency.

Ensuring that there is always an adequate amount of necessary medication on hand is also important. Relocating during an evacuation could make it difficult to obtain a new prescription or fill an existing one. Having enough medication on hand for several days in the event of an emergency is an important preparation for those supporting a loved one is special needs.

Prepare the family member for the potential disruption

Those with special needs often experience difficulty self-regulating in intense circumstances. They can become aggressive when they feel frightened or may try to hide. Both of those reactions could be incredibly dangerous in an evacuation scenario.

Therefore, practicing evacuation proceedings with a family member who has special needs could help them handle the situation better if a real emergency arises. Talking about what they are responsible for collecting, such as their favorite blanket or hat, and about how important it is to move immediately to the vehicle or to a certain location where everyone intends to gather can help the person with special needs navigate the stress of an emergency scenario.

Providing adequate support for a loved one with special needs can be a very challenging undertaking. Those who plan for unusual and demanding situations before they arise can help protect their loved ones from scenarios in which they may be at more risk than others, or in which they could put others at risk unintentionally.