woman on wheel chair

Tornado Preparedness With Special Needs Family Members

For anyone who has a family member with special needs, the sirens that ring in light of a tornado warning are the most horrifying sounds they can hear.

While tornadoes don’t typically strike without warning, it doesn’t take long for them to quickly become more devastating and move toward surrounding areas that weren’t originally in its path. This is why, even if you know a tornado watch was issued, you must take the right steps to help your special needs family member get to safety.

But how do you do so?

Here are some things you should know about.

Preparing For A Tornado Emergency

Make A Game Plan

Tornadoes are unpredictable and sudden, two things you don’t need when you’re moving a family member to safety.

So, instead of thinking off the cuff during a tornado warning, think ahead about your situation. What will you need? Do you require additional help? Medication or any mobility aids? If you live in a family home, run tornado drills with other family members, assign each person a task so that you can give your attention to your loved one.

Gather All Supplies

Does your loved one need medication, or are they easily triggered by stimulation?

For example, if noise or excess movement frightens them and causes strong autonomic reactions, prepare beforehand. Get noise-canceling headphones or protect their vision from the surroundings. Teach them to keep their head down in certain situations, and store their medication in your safe space, so even if you do get stuck, they won’t feel uncomfortable.

Invest In A Safe Room

Tornado Shelter installed in a Garage

Rather than moving your loved one to a closet or the basement, invest in an aboveground tornado shelter.

Built with steel and bolted to the ground, these tornado shelters are designed for adequate safety and can be customized to include a ramp, a door that swings in and out, and enough capacity for a wheelchair, a bed, and more. This’ll make it easier for you to bring your loved one in if they cannot walk or move. US Safe Rooms offers top-quality tornado shelter rooms in Texas, so you can always count on us to help you whenever you need it.

Attend To Their Functional Needs

For example, if your family member is visually impaired and has a guide dog, prepare the shelter with food, a warm bed, and water for them too. If they’re hard of hearing, install a unique warning system that can catch their attention in each room, so they can make their way to the shelter, even if you’re not at home.

If someone has special dietary needs or a medical condition that makes them dependent on machinery or equipment, have backups in place.

Getting Ready!

Being prepared for emergencies makes all the difference between life and death. So, do what you can now. Tornadoes are unpredictable and scary. You don’t want to be caught unaware when disaster strikes!

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