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Tips for People with Visual Impairments

This fact sheet is designed to provide a checklist for activities for People with Disabilities to improve their emergency preparedness readiness.


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 your belongings.


Date Completed

Store extra canes


Place alternate mobility cues in each room.


Label emergency supplies with Braille, large print or fluorescent tape.


Secure computers and important information.




  • If you use a cane, keep extras in strategic, consistent and secured locations at job, home, school, volunteer site, etc. to help you maneuver around obstacles and hazards.
  • Keep a spare cane in your emergency kit.


Alternate Mobility Cues

  • If you have some vision, place security lights in each room, to light paths of travel. These lights plug into electrical wall outlets and light up automatically if there is a loss of power. They will, depending on type, continue to operate automatically for 1 to 6 hours and can be turned off manually and used as a short-lasting flashlight.
  • Store high-powered flashlights with wide beams and extra batteries.
  • Service animals may become confused, panicked, frightened or disoriented in and after a disaster. Keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash/harness is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal. Be prepared to use alternative ways to negotiate your environment.
  • Plan for losing the auditory clues you usually rely on after a major disaster.


Label Supplies

  • If helpful, mark emergency supplies with large print, fluorescent tape or Braille.


Secure Computers

  • Anchor special equipment such as computers. Create a back-up system for important data and store it off site.


Advocacy Issues

  • Advocate that TV news not only post important phone numbers but also announce them slowly and repeat them frequently for people who cannot read the screen.


For more information please visit Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco and the American Red Cross.

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