Checking the List – Are You Ready?


As I woke up and listened to the thunderstorm, and hail hitting the roof like bricks, I checked off a mental checklist: Was the battery back-up charged? How about my USB back-up chargers? Do the flashlights have batteries that work?

Here in the northern forest, I don’t worry about tornadoes. We do get strong winds though and with all the trees, it’s not uncommon for the electricity to be down. In areas where severe weather like tornadoes and floods are common, emergency weather preparation is very important. If you use AT, you have some additional planning steps to consider.

The website “Ready.Gov” suggests:

  1. Stock a basic disaster supply kit.
  2. Inventory what you use every day to live independently. Identify the essential things that you will need to be able to survive for 3 to 5 days or longer, if people cannot get to you.
  3. Stock these custom essentials in your kit. For example, your kit may contain items such as durable medical equipment, assistive technology, food for special diets, prescription medicines, diabetic supplies, hearing aids and batteries, a TTY, manual wheelchair, and supplies for a service animal.

One of the biggest challenges to your safety and access to information is loss of electrical power. You should plan alternate ways to charge your communication and assistive technology devices before disaster strikes.

I’d add that you may want to have some low tech alternatives for communication in emergencies. Several sites in Michigan provide demonstration of some of these lower tech communication devices for emergencies.

  • ARC of Macomb County
    44050 Gratiot Ave.
    Clinton Township, MI 48036
    (586) 469-1600 ext. 116
    Traci Comer
  • Disability Network/Mid-Michigan
    (989) 835-4041
    1705 S. Saginaw Rd., Midland, MI 48640
    Terri Cady or Andrea Sneller
  • Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL)
    Serving the Upper Peninsula
    (906) 228-5744
    1200 Wright St., Suite 3, Marquette, MI 49855
    Ceora Hull or Sarah Peura

For more information and/or to schedule a device demonstration, please contact Cathy Mcadam @ (313) 563-1412

Here are some additional resources:

  • Emergency Preparedness from FEMA
  • Emergency Preparedness and People with Disabilities from the Red Cross
  • HHS Resources – Emergency Preparedness Resources for Persons with Disabilities
  • Today, the Pacific ADA Center is holding a webinar on Including Disability in State and Local Offices of Emergency Management. Though registration is now closed, it will be archived. The previous sessions in this free series can be reviewed in these archives.

What do you do to be sure you are ready for a weather emergency?


What do you think? Let us know!