Help from MDA: Following local weather emergencies, MDA actively tries to reach all individuals it serves who live in the affected areas to assess their well-being and offer assistance. If you have evacuated to a different area and need MDA services (including help with durable medical equipment or visiting an MDA Care Center), find the nearest MDA office by entering the ZIP code of your current location.
MDA webinar: Emergency Preparedness Webinar for Individuals with Disabilities explores how important it is for individuals with disabilities or with access and functional needs to design a personalized emergency plan for themselves and their families so they are prepared and empowered to handle any kind of emergency or disaster. Vance Taylor, the chief of the Office of Access and Functional Needs at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, led the presentation. Taylor has a form of muscular dystrophy and uses a power wheelchair.
211: For local information about help with food, housing, health care and more, dial 211 or visit their website. (Note: The 211 service is not available in all areas.)
DisasterAssistance.gov: To obtain the most accurate list of disaster assistance programs for which you may be eligible, complete this anonymous questionnaire.
Emergency Preparedness (information from Disability.gov)
Mental health help: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a list of resources specifically designed for those suffering stress and trauma as a result of disasters or other emergencies.
In addition, the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling and support. Call (800) 985-5990 or (800) 846-8517 (TTY for deaf/hearing impaired); or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities (Ready.gov brochure)
Salvation Army: For information about what the Salvation Army is doing in areas affected by a weather emergency, visit the Salvation Army website.
State offices and agencies of emergency management: For information, visit the FEMA website.
A federal program provides personal care aides for individuals with disabilities who need to stay in emergency shelters during a declared disaster.
Heavy storms often cause power outages, which is problematic for people who rely on electrically powered equipment to breathe. Fortunately, there are a variety of backup power options that can be used.
Because many emergency room doctors and nurses may not be familiar with neuromuscular disorders, a trip to the ER could result in inappropriate care for some people with muscle diseases. This article describes some common problems that can occur in the ER and provides tips for avoiding these scenarios.