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Special Needs

What plans are being put in place for individuals with special needs?

When you think of special needs groups you may think of the obvious in the list below. However, anyone can become a person with special needs at any time.

  • Visually impaired

  • Medical conditions

  • Dietary needs

  • Single working parent

  • Non-English speaking

  • Mobility impaired

  • Intellectual disabilities

Pregnant women have special needs, new born babies, premature babies, those that are recovering from operations or even someone who recently broke their leg. These people did not have special needs previously but now has become one of the special needs group.

LEPC Local Emergency Planning Committees have plans and coordinate with other groups that serve the needs of the most vulnerable populations. They work with electric companies, fire, local hospitals, businesses, EMS and police.

It is Important for People with Special Needs to:

  • Create a support network.

  • Let the people closest to you know your plan.

  • Give one member of your support network a key to your house or apartment.

  • Contact your city or county government's emergency information management office. Many local offices keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be located quickly in a sudden emergency.

  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability.

  • If you are dependent on dialysis or other life sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility.

  • Show others how to operate your wheelchair.

  • Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.

Disasters can disrupt mail service for days or even weeks. For those who depend on the mail for their Social Security benefits, a difficult situation can become worse if they are evacuated or lose their mail service.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  1. Direct deposits to checking or saving accounts are best. You can sign up by calling 800.333.1795 or at

  2. The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is designed as a safe and easy alternative to paper checks for people who don’t have a bank account. Sign up is easy – call toll-free at 877.212.9991 or sign up online at

Additional Supplies for People with Special Needs:

  • Prescription medicines, list of medications including dosage, list of any allergies.

  • Extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries.

  • Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen.

  • Keep a list of the style and serial number of medical devices.

  • Medical insurance and Medicare cards.

  • List of doctors, relatives or friends who should be notified if you are hurt.

More Information

For information and tools related to emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities see the Inter agency Coordinating Council on

Dementia or Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association has a program called Safe Return. People with dementia or Alzheimer’s have a tendency to wander and in response to that need, MedicAlert and the Alzheimer’s Association developed nationwide emergency response to aid in their safe return.

Enrollment in the program includes:

  • 24 hour response team

  • Individualized MedicAlert jewelry with engraved emergency response number

  • Community support network of law enforcement and local Association chapters will be activated.

Toll Free Emergency Response line: 1.800.625.3780

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