In November, we met to discuss emergency preparedness for our families. Willie Spears, from the Springfield Fire Department, was on hand to take our questions and remind us of the steps necessary to help our families stay safe. Our families need to know that FEMA takes 72 hours to get “boots on the ground” after a natural disaster.
Here is a link to the official FEMA brochure for people with disabilities. Advice includes: 1) knowing what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region; 2) making a communication plan that includes your family, friends and service providers; 3) being ready to shelter-in-place (purchasing generators or portable batteries for life-sustaining medical equipment) AND/OR to evacuate quickly to a safer location; and 4) putting together an emergency kit that includes important documents and a way to access funds.
Many of our families are living in poverty. Here is a news article that gives tips for building an emergency kit on a budget.
Our discussion opened up to the 911 Disability Indicator. Please contact your local police or fire department to fill out this form.
From the DISABILITY INDICATOR FORM
You are required to complete this form if you want your police department, fire department, or other emergency agency to know about you when you call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
When your 9-1-1 call is answered at your local Public Safety Answering Point, the 9-1-1 system automatically displays your name, address and telephone number on the dispatcher’s screen.
*PLEASE NOTE: IT IS IMPORTANT TO SUBMIT A NEW DISABILITY INDICATOR FORM UPON CHANGE OF SERVICE PROVIDER, TELEPHONE NUMBER, OR ADDRESS.*
At your request, codes will be displayed on the dispatcher’s screen that will identify the disability indicators that have been reported for you or someone living with you at your address.
These codes will help the dispatcher at the 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point to communicate with the caller and provide useful information to your responding public safety agency.
The information is confidential and will only appear at the dispatcher’s location when a 9-1-1 call originates from your address.
The information you provide for input to the 9-1-1 system will remain until you request a change or make a request to have it removed. It is your responsibility to notify your 9-1-1 Municipal Coordinator when there is a change in the information described on this form.
When there is a change, complete another form and send it to your 9-1-1 Municipal Coordinator.
If the disability indicator form is not completed properly, the information will not be entered into the 9-1-1 system.
Since 2005, Springfield has experienced a tornado and a hurricane, in addition to microbursts, Nor’easters, tropical storms and an inner city gas explosion.
After talking disasters, Carla Doyle from Community Resources for People with Autism gave us a refresher on the Autism Waiver Program, funding wrap-around services for 80 families in Massachusetts. The deadline has passed, but this is an annual opportunity. Tell your families to re-apply every year.
Dr. Sadof (@MDSadof) reminded everyone about his care coordination grant. Families should inquire at the Baystate Children’s Specialty Center.
Tonight (Dec 2, 2014) is our Winter Wonderland Festival. We are welcoming families from 4:30-6:30pm at Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St in Springfield, MA. Please contact Jane O’Brien at (413) 794-2085 with any questions. This event is sponsored by the Medical Home Work Group and Thom WRCP.