Preparing Seniors and Disabled Family Members
Seniors and people with disabilities may need special consideration when preparing for a disaster. The Marin Center for Independent Living exists to assist persons with all types of disabilities to achieve their maximum level of sustainable independence as contributing, responsible and equal participants in society. Independent Living, as seen by its advocates, is a philosophy, a way of looking at disability and society, and a worldwide movement of people with disabilities who proclaim to work for self-determination, self-respect and equal opportunities.
The Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL) is the go to source for assistance and information to help Marin’s Access and Functional Needs Community to prepare for disasters.
Please visit their website for more information
Download MCIL’s instruction booklet and workbook for their Powered & Prepared program
Powered and Prepared Webinar
The Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority funded a comprehensive literature review called the State-of-the-Science in Wildfire Evacuation. This study showed that the leading causes of wildfire fatalities during evacuation included: extreme fire behavior, failures in alerting and communication systems, and delays in evacuee departure.
It is not possible to prevent the extreme weather conditions that lead to major wildfires. But there are several actions that can be taken to reduce risk during wildfire evacuations. Click here to learn more about how people with access and functional needs can prepare themselves to safely evacuate during a wildfire.
Preparing Babies, Toddlers, and Older Children
Evacuation plans for families with young children should include helping toddlers understand how to quickly respond in case of fire, and how adults can escape with babies. Prepare ahead of time by practicing your family’s fire escape plan and what to do to be safe when there is a wildfire nearby.
It is important to talk to toddlers and small children at a level that they understand and that does not frighten them. Here are a few resources that offer guides and tips for families with young children about fire safety and preparing for emergencies:
- A Parent’s Guide to Fire Safety for Babies and Toddlers: The U.S. Fire Administration’s information site for parents and caregivers to help prevent fire death of young children.
- Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together for Emergencies: Sesame Street Workshop campaign with tips, activities, and other easy tools to help the whole family prepare for emergencies.
- Ready.gov Kids: FEMA’s site for older kids to prepare and plan for a disaster. Includes safety steps, tips, and games to help children learn what to do before, during, and after emergencies.
- Smokey Kids: U.S. Forest Service’s interactive Smokey Bear site with games, information, and resources on how to help prevent forest fires and to protect the forest.
Below are additional resources to help individuals and families with special needs plan and prepare for events such as wildfire.
- Special Populations Fire-Safe Checklist: U.S. Fire Administration’s fire safety guide for individuals with special needs to help them protect themselves and their home from fire.
- Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors: The American Red Cross booklet designed by and for older adults to prepare them for a sudden emergency.
- Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities: American Red Cross Disaster Services booklet with information and resources to help people with physical, visual, auditory, or cognitive disabilities design a personal disaster plan.
- Ready.gov Personal Preparedness Guide: A resource site for individuals with disabilities that gives information on necessary supplies, evacuation procedures, and how to assist pets and service animals in the event of a disaster.