Waldo Canyon Fire

Colorado Springs CO. July 9, 2012–The Ameraican flage flys high over burned out homes in the Waldo Canyon Fire. Photo: Michael Rieger/FEMA


by Michelle West

The Independence Center has an Emergency Preparedness department that informs the public on how to best prepare for an emergency, whether it be fire, flood, weather-related, or any other type of disaster. Before a disaster happens, be prepared for an emergency! You can also anticipate that emergency personnel will probably not be able to meet the needs that your disability presents during an emergency. As a result, if you have chemical or food sensitivities as your disability, you’ll want to include air filtering items such as masks, or food items you can safely eat in all of your emergency kits.

Items to add to your Emergency Preparedness Kits if your disability is chemical and/or food sensitivities are:

  • Alternate cooking method
  • Antihistamine
  • Disposable hand wipes
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Epinephrine auto-injector
  • Ready-to-eat foods
  • Special dietary supplements

If you have a disability that involves breathing and/or respiratory limitations, you’ll want to include the following in your emergency preparedness kit:

  • Alternate charging source
  • Alternate power source
  • Extra batteries, alternate power source
  • Charging system for oxygen and breathing devices
  • N95 rated particulate filter mask
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Resuscitation bag
  • Towels, masks, and industrial respirators
  • Supplies you can use to filter your air supply

Make sure to check your emergency preparedness kits regularly to ensure food items and medications are not expired. Also, ensure that masks, towels, and other supplies are clean and ready for use at regular intervals.

If you have any questions, please contact The Independence Center’s Emergency Preparedness department at 719-471-8181. Be prepared in an emergency so that you can care for your needs.