In 2011 alone, Massachusetts has experienced severe winter storms, tornadoes, and a hurricane, which have led to loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage.
Are you ready for hazardous weather or other disasters? Here are some tips, materials, and websites that can help you and your family prepare for emergencies.
How Cambridge Residents Can Prepare
Emergency Planning: People with Disabilities
Some individuals will require more careful planning than others. Rescuers will be very busy during a disaster and may not be able to respond immediately. If you are disabled, some advanced preparation and planning can go a long way in helping you maintain your independence during a disaster or emergency. Here are some tips:
- Consider all the services, equipment, and strategies that you use on a daily basis and plan for the possible disruption of these things.
- Create a personal support network that includes at least three people from each place (home, school, work) where you regularly spend time.
- In addition to a basic emergency supply kit, pack a special "go kit" with items for your particular needs, such as extra eyeglasses; extra batteries for hearing aids or motorized wheelchairs; medications; and portable oxygen. For more information, see FEMA's Individuals with Access & Functional Needs web page.
- Develop back-up plans for in-home assistance in case personal assistance services are not available after a disaster.
- Notify local utility companies and fire departments if you are dependent upon electricity for life-sustaining equipment.
- Work with your local emergency management agency concerning any special transportation needs you might have during evacuations.
- Have a copy of your emergency health information including medications, allergies, medical equipment (with serial number), insurance information and immunization records. Have a list with contact information for your health care provider, durable medical equipment supplier (with alternates), pharmacy, and emergency contacts.
- If you receive federal disability benefits, register your bank account in advance at www.GoDirect.org
- Put together an emergency kit for your service animal.
- Once you have a plan in place, practice it!
Here are some excellent online resources on emergency preparedness for people with disabilities or others who would require additional assistance in an emergency.
Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs (PDF)
Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Region 4b
Revised on Dec. 14, 2011
City Emergency Info
- Call 911 for potentially life-threatening emergencies.
- Police Non-Emergency (617-349-3300) for general questions and concerns.
- NSTAR (1-800-592-2000) for power outages.
Public Health Info
Learn how Cambridge would respond to a public health emergency.
For information about Massachusetts Emergency Preparedness Region 4b, which includes Cambridge, visit www.region4b.org.