Tips for People with Psychiatric Disabilities
This fact sheet is designed to provide a checklist
of activities for people with disabilities to improve their emergency
Preparation may seem like a lot of work. It is.
Preparing does take time and effort. So do a little at a time, as your energy
and budget permit. The important thing is to start preparing. The more you do,
the more confident you will be that you can protect yourself, your family and
| Practice how to communicate your needs. |
|Anticipate the types of reactions you may have after a disaster
and plan strategies for coping with these reactions. |
Keep instructions with you for treatment if you are hospitalized.
Think through what a rescuer might need to know
about you and be prepared to say it briefly, or keep a written copy with you -
I have a psychiatric disability. In an emergency
I may become confused. Help me find quiet corner and I should be fine in
approximately 10 minutes.
I have a panic disorder. If I panic, give me one
green pill (name of medication) located in my (purse, wallet, pocket, etc.).
I take Lithium and my blood level needs to be
checked every _____________.
- There are a number of emotional reactions that may occur or become more
severe after a disaster. These reactions include: confusion, thought processing
and memory difficulties, agitation, paranoia, crying, fear, panic, pacing,
shouting, depression, withdrawal, irritability, anxiety, shaking and sleep
- Think through the types of reactions you may anticipate having and plan
strategies for coping with these reactions.
- Consider seeking input from your friends, family, therapist or service
- Be prepared to have members of your personal support network offer emotional
support so you can acknowledge and express feelings about the disaster.
You may need medical assistance. You even may be
hospitalized. Keep instructions with you for your care and treatment, or a copy
of a durable power of attorney for health so that someone you have chosen may
intervene for you.
Information adapted from Independent Living Resource Center
San Francisco and the American Red Cross.