Functional Needs

For People with Disabilities and those with Access and Functional Needs

An estimated 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability.  Evidence gathered from previous worldwide events shows that people with disabilities are disproportionately affected in emergency situations and the occurrence of natural disasters.

Emergencies can reduce the capacity of caregivers to provide for and support people with disabilities and the vulnerability of children and older people with disabilities becomes even more acute during emergencies.

How would a disaster impact your daily life?

  • What can you do independently and where may you need assistance?
  • Will your regular sources of assistance be available after a disaster?
  • What if power, gas, and phone lines are not working?
  • What if roads and footpaths are impassable or your means of transportation is unavailable?
  • How will you maintain supplies of water, food, medications, and your other needs?

Note: The content on this page is specially adapted for people with disabilities, access and functional needs, as well as advice for their caregivers.  It is deigned to be used in addition to the information provided as part of the Community Emergency Management Plan to help you plan for the additional challenges you may face in an emergency situation.

When an Earthquake Happens

Prevent

Secure Your Space

Identify hazards and secure moveable items

  • When you enter a room, building or public space for the first time, take a moment to look for safe places to protect yourself should an emergency situation happen
  • Safe spaces are places where heavy or falling objects, debris and breaking glass will not injure you, such as under tables or desks along inside walls.

The more limitations you have, the more important it is to create safe spaces for yourself:

  • Create safe spaces by securing heavy furniture and moving heavy items to low shelves in your cupboards
  • When not in use secure essential equipment such as oxygen tanks or other life support devices, so they will not fall, sustain damage, or cause injury.

Plan to Be Safe

Create a disaster plan and decide how you will communicate in an emergency

  • Assess your own limitations and capabilities realistically
  • Include your family, friends and carers when creating and practicing your plan
  • Ensure that you inform three people who are within walking distance (and would be able to assist you immediately) of the details in your plan
  • Share the details of your plan with people at home, work and in places where you spend a lot of time
  • Make sure the people you tell know how to enter your home in case you cannot answer the door.
  • Make sure your friends and family knows your schedule, your needs and how to operate any equipment.

Have an evacuation plan

  • Identify a meeting place just outside your home where you can make sure everyone has gotten out safely.  Identify a second meeting place outside of your street  in case you cannot return home.  Share this information with your family members and friends.
  • If you live or work near a beach, large lake ensure you plan to move out side of the flood zone
  • Make a care plan for your pets as they might not be allowed in some shelters.  Contact Port Adelaide Council or the RSPCA if you have any concerns with pet sheltering in an emergency.