- depends on electricity --- to breathe, be fed, stay comfortable
- cannot be moved easily because of his medical condition or attachment to equipment
- uses a wheelchair, walker, or other device to move
- cannot survive extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold
- becomes afraid or agitated when sudden changes happen
- cannot independently get out of an emergency for physical or emotional reasons
- Do you have a current care plan and list of medications from your child's physician?
- Do you have an emergency information form (EIF) filled out with your child's information?
- Do you have a two week supply of medication and supplies for your child?
- Do you have back-up systems or plans for medical equipment that require electricity?
- Have you discussed with your child's doctor what the best place is for your child in the event of a disaster?
- Are your local emergency management team and neighbors aware that you have a child with special needs and are they familiar with those needs?
- Do you have a disaster plan for your child while he is at school, day activities, church, etc?
- Does your family have a disaster plan? Have you practiced the plan?
- Do you have a disaster supply kit for your family?
- Have you designated a "meeting place" and central point of contact should your family be separated during a disaster? Have you shared the location of your meeting place with all family members and neighbors?
- Have you discussed disasters and preparation with all your children?
- Have you considered making a picture board or communication page if your child with special needs or a young child has limited understanding? (These pictures could include first response workers in uniforms/ fire gear.)
- Have you made plans for your pets?
- Have you checked your home (inside and out) for materials and items that might pose a hazard during a disaster?
- Have you located and learned how to turn on and off utilities such as gas, water, and electricity in your home?
- Do you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home?
- Does your home have necessary resources such as water hoses, fire extinguishers, generators, etc.?
- Have you developed a plan with your neighbors for how you will assist one another in case of disaster?
- no electricity, phone, heat, air conditioning, computer
- no water
- no local access to prescription refills or health care products*
- no refrigeration
- separation from family
- evacuation to a shelter or elsewhere
- confinement to home
- limited health care access
- lack of transportation
- limited emergency rescue services
- What is available in the way of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for my child at home, at school, or other places she might be? Do the EMS providers have training with children with special health care needs?
- How are decisions about emergency transport handled? What choices do I have?
- Which hospitals might receive my child on an emergency basis?
- What rules or policies apply when my child is not with me in regards to things such as health care plans, preferences, rescue medications, Do Not Resuscitate orders, and disaster assistance?
- Ask about special health risks for your child or symptoms that should be watched for.
- Discuss whether it is appropriate for your child to wear identifying medical jewelry health information.
- Ask for your doctor's help in completing an Emergency Information Form (EIF) for your child.
- Discuss who should have a copy or your child's EIF. Consider relatives your child may stay with, EMS providers (fire department, paramedics, police station), and responsible adults at school, daycare, camp, and other places your child may go.
- Review and update your child's EIF annually or more often as needed.
- Discuss with the physician about using signed consent for treatment forms (EIF). (You can get a sample form at the American College of Emergency Physicians Emergency Information Form for Individuals with Special Health Care Needs (EIF)).
- Know who and how to call for help. Dial 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number.
- Have your child's EIF form available for the EMS response team.
- Comfort and reassure your child. Listen to your child and help him understand what is happening.
Coping with Crisis--Helping Children with Special Needs
Coping strategies for crisis affecting children with special needs, from the National Association of School Psychologists.
Emergency Information Resources for People with Disabilities
Emergency information resources for people with disabilities from the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities
Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatments (POLST forms)
The National POLST Paradigm is an approach to advance care planning developed for patients with one or more serious advanced illnesses, with emphasis on patients’ wishes about the care they receive.
Emergency Health Information System for CSHCN Utah
This link to the Utah Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) website contains an online form for CSHCN that can be filled out by parents, inserted into a provided tube, and placed in the main fridge of the home. This allows emergency medical service (EMS) providers to quickly find medical information and provide immediate care, before they reach the hospital, for children with complex medical conditions in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Emergency Health Information Form - Utah
This form, front and back for use by Utah emergency medical services, helps parents record information for their child including diagnoses, procedures to avoid, allergies, and medications. Utah Department of Health, Utah Family Voices, and Utah Collaborative Medical Home Project.
Emergency Medical Information Form - Contact Information Utah
Contact information for use by Utah emergency medical services, that helps parents record information for their child. Utah Department of Health, Utah Family Voices, and Utah Collaborative Medical Home Project.
CHIRP - Children's Health Information Red Pack
A registry of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) for routine emergency medical services; developed by the Utah Department of Health.
Special Needs Registry
This registration website allows residents with special needs an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so those agencies can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergencies. Provided by United Way of Northern Utah, Utah 211, Utah Citizen Corps, and the Utah Department of Public Safety.
Help Families with CSHCN Prepare for Emergencies ( 224 KB)
Tips for families: be informed, make a plan, build a kit, get involved and resources. Prepared by Family Voices, New Mexico.