Emergency Preparedness for Israel’s Special Needs Community.
Israel’s special-needs community are required to make unique preparations for an emergency situation or in the case of a rocket attack.
Some Tips for the Special Needs Community
- Make sure you are not alone. Have your caregiver, a family member or good friend help you or act on your behalf
- Make sure that your neighbors are aware that you are at home. Should there be a “code red” or rocket attack, arrange with your neighbors to check on you once the threat has passed – usually 10 minutes after a warning has been given or air raid siren has wailed.
- Make sure to tell your neighbors if you are going away for a few days so that if they come to check on you, they will not panic or be alarmed should they not find you.
- Make sure your neighbors and friends have all your contact information.
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and accessible.
- If you have a panic/emergency call button make sure it is working and that the call center has been updated and has all your relevant information.
- Medical & health services and resources
- Social services for English speakers
- First aid for stab wounds
- Earthquake drills
Preparing your Safe Area
In addition to the general tips we provide for preparing a secure area in your home, members of the special needs community must ensure they have the following:-
The visually impaired
- Spectacles, walking cane and special talking aids that you would usually use for your phone, computer or other communication devices
- If you have a guide dog, please make sure that their needs are taken care of too. Make sure that there is enough dog food and water for your best friend. Check the dog’s harness and make sure it is completely secure.
For the deaf and the hearing impaired community
- Make application via Ministry of Social Affairs for a device called “Zimunit” which will send you a written text message if an emergency situation should arise. Do not wait for an emergency before you begin the application process for the Zimunit – it will take time before all the paperwork is processed and you can take delivery thereof.
Mental health patients
- Be especially patient with them. Speak quietly and slowly so that they do not start to panic.
- Practice emergency drills with them often and explain and repeat all procedures. Make sure they understand.
For those with limited mobility
- Ensure that all walking aids are in good working condition and provide the correct support.
- Make sure that wheel chairs are in tip-top shape and that the route to the secure area is easily accessible and can be reached within the minimum amount of time.
- Make sure that your patient or loved one who may require them, has sufficient diapers and spare clothing in case of an emergency.
- If you suffer from a chronic condition ensure that you have all your medication and spare dosages easily accessible. Missing out on one dose of your regular medication can be life threatening.
- Make sure your special needs patient gets plenty of rest. Some conditions like epilepsy are aggravated by a lack of sleep.
- Be patient, act kindly, be warm and loving to these special people and most of all be sensitive to their needs