Earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires can mean evacuating at a moment’s notice. Being prepared for such a emergency is crucial. For people with speech and language disabilities and those who use augmentative and alternative communication, being prepared may mean taking a few extra steps.
Here are resources to assist with the preparations. More resources will be added as they are found. Please contact us if you know of a resource that should be added.
Tips for First Responders
- Make Your Service Accessible: Emergency Medical Staff – information for responders in face-to-face emergency situations (e.g. accident, sudden onset illness) and disasters (e.g. flood, hurricane) as well as suggestions for people with speech and language disabilities.
- Tips for Emergency Response Personnel Interacting with Someone who Needs Communication Assistance – draft version.
Info for People with Communication Disabilities
- In Case of Emergency (ICE) Communication Card – pack of 20 from Bridges Canada
- Emergency Communication: For People Who Have Limited Speech – (from The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement (AAC-RERC)).
- Emergency Preparedness AAC Vocabulary Sets – free downloadable communication aids.
- PreparedBC; Resources for People with Disabilities (PDF) – provides general tips for emergency preparedness and briefly outlines the C-MIST (Communication, Medical, Independence, Supervision and Transportation) Framework for Emergency Planning.
- Surrey Emergency Planning – the City of Surrey provides an excellent C-MIST Card that residents can download and complete as part of their emergency preparedness.
- Disaster Preparedness for People with Complex Communication Needs: A Personal Perspective – In this video, Pamela Kennedy describes her experiences as an individual with complex communication needs and as a survivor of the Grand Forks flood of 1997. She also describes 7 steps for emergency preparation that are critical for all individuals with complex communication needs.
- When Disaster Strikes: USSAAC’s Response to Families with AAC Needs – In this guest blog post, Sarah Blackstone shares how the USSAAC Disaster Relief Committee assisted families with AAC needs recover from natural disaster.