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September 11, 2017

September is National Preparedness Month

Planning for Disasters Should Include Special Needs

OSWEGO COUNTY - During National Preparedness Month, people can take steps to prepare themselves and those in their care for emergencies and disasters. Those who have a disability or other functional needs may have to take additional steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies.

"Many people with disabilities live independently in our community," said Terry Bennet, Emergency Services Program Coordinator for the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. "Personal emergency preparedness is a vital part of that independence."

People should consider how a disaster might affect their individual needs or the needs of someone they care for. "It's possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore during an emergency," Bennett said. "Plan to make it on your own, for up to two weeks."

People should know that disasters affecting their area could result in an evacuation or might strand them at home without services for several days or weeks.

"Identify what kind of resources you need daily and what you might do if they are limited or not available," Bennett said. "Do you use a wheelchair? Do you need oxygen at night or 24/7, and do you need electrical power to operate it? What medications do you use? These are things you should plan for."

Some other tips offered on the Ready.Gov website include the following:

"People should complete a personal assessment to know what they will need during an emergency," advises Emergency Management Director Dale Currier. "You can identify now what you will be able to do for yourself and what assistance you may need before, during and after a disaster. Let others know what assistance you will need before a disaster strikes."

For more information, visit the Ready.Gov website at https://www.ready.gov/; the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/; or the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at http://oswegocounty.com/emo.shtml. The Oswego County Emergency Management Office can be reached at 315-591-9150.

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