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Disaster Preparation

Federal agencies and members of Congress are vital resources to look to if a natural disaster or terrorist act impacts your area.  This web site not only provides tips on how you can prepare for emergency situations, but also includes emergency contact information for organizations who provide disaster relief assistance to those living in impacted areas. 

Although the hurricanes and flooding that have affected the U.S. in recent years have been the driving force behind the creation of this update, the information included below can also be used to prepare for any type of disaster, including floods, fires, tornados, earthquakes or acts of terrorism.

Which Disasters Impact Your Community
Emergency Assistance in Your Community 
Replacement for Important Documents
Create an Emergency Kit
Practice Makes Perfect
NOAA Extreme Weather Information Sheet
Louisiana Guide to Supports & Services for Individuals with Disabilities

Which Disasters Impact Your Community?

Emergency Assistance in Your Community

There are several different organizations, both public and private, that provide disaster relief assistance to people living in affected areas.  The organizations listed below are a few of the organizations that provide assistance to people nationwide.  You should also contact your local, state or county’s department of emergency management (or similarly named agency) to obtain assistance information as well.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- Those living in disaster affected areas can call the FEMA disaster hotline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by visiting their website.  The information includes "Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness", FEMA’s most comprehensive guide on emergency preparedness. 

FEMA has a new mobile website, m.fema.gov,for accessing tools needed to prepare for and, when needed, recover from disasters. Before, during, and after disasters, many individuals will need to access important information by using their mobile devices. As a result, FEMA recently rolled out a mobile version of its website, so that people can get the information they need when disaster strikes. The new site is laid out in a user-friendly, questions-and-answer format that walks users through several important issues they face when dealing with disasters. Over the next few months, several enhancements will be made to this site, including the ability to apply for individual assistance when a disaster has been declared by the President, check on the status of an application, and update an existing application.  This could be an extremely valuable source of information for families with members who have disabilities and/or who are elderly. For detailed information, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/04/28/announcing-fema-mobile

 

The American Red Cross -- The American Red Cross and its local chapters are a helpful resource to contact following a disaster.  Information is available by calling 1-866-GET INFO (438-4636) or by visiting the Red Cross website.

State and Local Assistance -- State and local governments provide emergency relief assistance.  Check local telephone listings to find the contact information for your state’s office of emergency management or similarly named agency.  Or, call your local police or fire department.  Many states and localities provide special assistance for the disabled and people with special needs. Contact your state or county office of emergency management (or similarly named agency) to learn what emergency services may be available for the disabled, including special shelters that will accommodate the disabled, or transportation assistance in the event of an evacuation. You may need to register in advance for this special assistance.

Whole House Generators

To discuss purchasing and utilizing whoe house generator please call Terry Singer at 225-336-1535.

Checklist for persons with disabilities:

[  ] Call the Office of Emergency Management in your county now to register for special assistance and to find the nearest special needs shelter to you. The county contact information for emergency management is available at 225-925-7500 or Louisiana Division of Emergency Management.  To contact the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, please call 601-933-6362 or visit www.msema.org. Ask your parish/county Office of Emergency Management whether there is special transportation available to you for evacuation.

[  ] Prepare a medical information list that includes:

  • Names and contact information for medical providers
  • Health insurance information
  • Medications you use
  • Adaptive and support equipment you use
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • Special care instructions
  • Insutructions for getting you out of your home, if necessary
  • The best way to communicate with you if you have communication difficulties
[  ] Send copies of important documents to your out-of-town contact person.

[  ] Have a pet care plan. Shelters do not always accept pets. Contact your local animal shelter.

[  ] Have an extra battery for a motorized wheelchair or scooter. A car battery also can be used with a wheelchair but will not last as long as a wheelchair's deep-cycle battery. Check with your vendor to know if you can charge your battery by either connecting jumper cables to a vehicle battery or connecting batteries to a converter that plugs into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Caution: Charge only one battery at a time.

[  ] Have a patch kit, can of seal-in-air product, inner tubes for a motorized wheelchair or scooter with inflatable tires.

[  ] Have a lightweight manual wheelchair for backup.

[  ] Have a converter for your communication device.

[  ] Pack a low-tech communication board and preprinted key phrases in your disaster kit.

[  ] Order an adaptor kit if you are using a BiPAP. Respironics has a kit that can be used with a car battery and a marine battery.

[  ] Enroll in your electric company's "priority reconnection service", if available. Even with this "priority reconnection service", your power could still be out for a long time following a disaster. Individual homes do not have reconnection priority over emergency facilities.

[  ] Contact your utility company and fire department before you connect a generator to house wiring. Connecting a generator is specifically prohibited by law in some areas. Evacuating to a special needs shelter may be safer than staying at home with a generator during a disaster.

Items for a Disaster Supply Kit include: nonperishable food, bottled water, non-electric can opener, paper/plastic utensils, toiletries/personal hygiene items, water purification tablets, important documents, First Aid Kit, flashlight and batteries, bug repellent, sun-screen, battery operated radio, booster cables, auto tire repair kit. A comprehensive list can be found at American Red Cross.

 

 Important Family Documents:
Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container

[  ] Copy of will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
[  ] Copy of passports, Social Security cards, immunization records
[  ] Record of credit card accounts
[  ] Record of bank account numbers, names, and phone numbers
[  ] Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
[  ] Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
[  ] Copy of Supplemental Security Income award letter

  

 

Driver's License

Department of Motor Vehicles
887-368-5463

Government Issued ID

Contact the issuing authority

Insurance policies

Your insurance agent or company

Military discharge

Department of Veterans Affairs, papers
225-922-0500, 1-800-827-1000 or TDD/TTY 1-800-829-4833

Passports

State Department—Passport Services,
202-955-0430 (24 hours)

Birth, death and marriage certificates

Bureau of Records in the appropriate state

Social Security or Medicare cards

Local Social Security office, 1-800-772-1213 or TDD/TTY 1-800-325-0778

Credit cards

The issuing companies as soon as possible

MasterCard

Contact issuing financial institution

VISA

Contact issuing financial institution

American Express

1-800-441-0519

Discover

1-800-discover (1-800-347-2683),
TDD/TTY 1-800-347-7449

Titles to deeds

Records department of the area in which the property is located

Stocks and bonds

Issuing company or your broker

Wills

Your attorney

Income tax record

The IRS center where filed, your accountant or
1-800-829-1040

Citizenship papers

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, 1-800-375-5283

Mortgage papers

Lending institution

 
Louisiana:

 
Office of Public Health Director/State Registrar & Vital Record & Statistics


Department of Health & Hospitals, Office of Aging and Adult Services
866-758-5035

 

For more information:
http://www.louisianahelp.org/
http://www.redcross.org/ 
http://www.flash.org/ 


Mississippi:

Mississippi State Department of Health - 24 hour information hotline 1-866-458-4948; website includes contacts for Vital Records

Mississippi Department of Human Services - Hotline is 1-800-345-6347

Mississippi Get Help - Aging & Disability Resource Center - 1-888-240-7539

Whom to Contact About Replacement of Important Documents
  -- Your U.S. senators and representatives will have staff available to assist you should a disaster or terrorist act affect your area.  They will be able to provide you with the latest information about federal resources that are available and often local resources as well.  You can contact them by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.  To identify your members of Congress and obtain their contact information, including locations and phone numbers for local offices, please visit the Advocacy Action Center of The ALS Association and enter your zip code in the space provided.