Disaster Checklist For Nassau County Residents with Access and Functional needs Preparing at Home

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All residents, including those with access and functional needs are encouraged to develop an individualized disaster /evacuation plan. Preparedness is a responsibility promoted robustly by the county on all levels – starting with the individual to the local, state and federal government. It is vital to prepare for your own safety and welfare.

It is important that our most vulnerable residents and their caregivers take the time now to plan and practice evacuation. If your access and functional needs requires additional planning and preparation, consider the following:

  • Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and ensure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment.
  • Make prior arrangements with your physician or check with your oxygen supplier about emergency plans for those on respirators or other electric powered medical equipment. Be sure to have electrical back up for any medical equipment. Most shelters will not have generator power; access and functional needs shelters will have limited space available.
  • Maintain a two week supply of such items as dressings, nasal cannulas and suction catheters.
  • Maintain a two week supply of medications, both prescription and non-prescription.
  • Keep copies of your medical records and physician name and telephone number.
  • Maintain a two week supply of items necessary for your service animal.
  • If you have a caregiver, i.e., home health aide, home care nurse, or other paid provider, discuss your personalized evacuation plan with them.

Disasters can happen at anytime and affect anyone. Whether the disaster is predictable, such as a hurricane, or happens without warning, such as a terrorist attack, it is important for Nassau County residents to have an at-home emergency kit as well as a shelter kit. People with access and functional needs should consider additional personal items when compiling both a home emergency kit and a shelter kit. This checklist is intended to be a quick list of general and additional items for either "sheltering-in-place" (at home) or for a "grab-and-go" shelter kit (to be taken with you to a shelter). Home disaster kits contain enough items for a longer period of time (several days to a week). Shelter kits contain only essential items for a shorter period of time (12 to 72 hours). While not comprehensive, this is meant to be a starting point. It is recommended that this checklist be reviewed regularly and according to any changes in your needs.

  • Photo identification and proof of address
  • Insurance policies, contracts, wills, passports, deeds, stocks and bonds, social security cards, immunization cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards (and keep in a water-proof bag)
  • Banking and credit card information
  • Emergency Contact Information: names and phone numbers of those in your personal support network, family members, doctors, equipment suppliers, and utility companies
  • One-week supply of non-perishable canned/packaged food
  • Bottled water (gallon/day)
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Battery operated radio/TV with extra batteries
  • Family photos (new and old)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Toiletries
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Change of clothes
  • Childcare items
  • Cell phone w/ spare batteries
  • Phone that plugs directly into the wall
  • Hard soled shoes
  • Money (small bills and change)
  • Auxiliary medical equipment with extra batteries if necessary (i.e., oxygen, scooter battery, hearing aid)
  • Style and serial numbers of medical devices (such as pacemakers)
  • Medicine supply and written dosage instructions (rotate to ensure it does not expire)
  • Medical alert bracelet
  • Disposable face mask/gloves
  • Food and water supply for pets
  • Pet carrier/cage with toy
  • Leash/harness with ID tag for pets
    * It is recommended that you have alternative plans for pets since pets are not allowed in shelters.

Additional supplies to consider based on your access and functional needs:

  • Cane, crutches, walker or wheelchair
  • Glasses with repair kits and contacts with cleaning supplies
  • Heavy gloves for operating equipment (for caregivers)
  • Whistle, loud bell or other alert device and a way for others to notify you
  • Instructions for any device you may have
  • Pre-printed messages/note pad and pen


Shelter kits should be stored in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack, and located in an easily accessible area. If you have a home health aid, it is recommended you bring that person along with you. Some shelters may not have special equipment; be prepared to bring your own.

If you are evacuating to a shelter, before you leave your home:

  • Secure windows and shutters with plywood for storm emergencies
  • Remove all dead and diseased limbs from your house
  • Secure patio furniture
  • Top-off car gas tank
  • Turn off electricity at main switch
  • Shut gas valve at the appliance, not the main
  • Let friends, relatives or neighbors know where you are going

*Remember to listen to local radio and TV stations for emergency information and evacuation instructions.

Protecting Pets and Animals

Only service animals are allowed in Nassau County shelters. If you bring your service animal with you, be sure to bring water, food, medicine, toys and other necessities.

Since pets are not allowed in shelters, Nassau County is taking steps to care for your pet during an evacuation by establishing shelters just for pets. For more information concerning your pet during an emergency, contact the Pet Safe Coalition at 676-0808.

Preparing at Home

A home emergency plan for you and your family should include a communication system, home disaster supply kit for sheltering–in-place, and a meeting place.

Work and School

Every workplace and school should have an evacuation plan and emergency procedures. Become familiar with evacuation plans in areas where you spend a great deal of time. You may want to store a few essential items at these places as well.

Remember – 911 Is For Emergencies Only

Additional Information

N.C. Office of Emergency Management(516)573-0636
Email the North Carolina Office of Emergency Management

American Red Cross(516)747-3500
Red Cross Website
N.C. Main Number(516)571-3000
Nassau County Police

Nassau County Health Department(516) 571-3410
Nassau County Health Department Page

TTY Relay Operator1-800-421-1220
Federal Emergency Management AgencyFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Website
(for emergency preparedness
NYSEMONew York State Emergency Management Website
National Organization on Disability's
Emergency Preparedness Initiative
National Organization on Disability’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative Website