Emergency Preparedness


Disasters can occur anytime, anywhere, and affect anyone. It is important for individuals to be prepared for and know how to respond to various types of emergency situations. This brochure is meant to be a basic, all-hazards emergency preparedness guide. Being prepared can enable you to take better control of situations and make knowledgeable decisions regarding "sheltering in-place," evacuations, staying in designated shelters, and overall safety and survival.

Disabilities, Access and Functional Needs 

For people with disabilities, access and functional needs knowing what your specific accommodations are may increase personal safety. For example, if you have a service animal, it is important to prepare a shelter kit for the animal as well as for yourself. If you are hard of hearing, you need to have additional batteries for auxiliary aids. You may also need to make accommodations for communication and accessing information. If you have a homecare attendant, you should develop a plan in coordination with your caretaker. Also, check with your agency to see if they have emergency plans. Confirm all arrangements for continued service with your provider and speak with your physician about emergency prescription refills.

In the work place, you will need to consider accommodations given your particular disability or other needs. Work with your employer to review safety plans and evacuation procedures to ensure your particular disability is taken into account. Review these plans frequently with your employer and co-workers.

Temporary Emergency Shelters

Depending on the emergency, at times you may need to seek refuge. Your first plan should always be with friends or family. Nassau County and Red Cross may also open emergency shelters. In natural emergency situations, such as hurricanes or snowstorms, emergency shelters will often be open in advance of the pending storm. The Office of Emergency Management will announce the location of emergency shelters through the media. Shelter locations are usually dependent on the type of event.

In other situations, such as terrorism, you may be instructed to shelter in-place, meaning you will need to stay in your home until further notified. You may be directed to secure your home temporarily by sealing windows and doorways. Continue to monitor media so you know when it is safe to remove window and door seals.

Accessing Emergency Information Always monitor local TV and radio for latest public information before, during and after an emergency. Identify a neighbor, friend or family member who can assist if these outlets are unavailable to you. Do not call 911 for general information; 911 is for life threatening emergencies only.