Unlocking Autism has been through several natural disasters together with our family from Hurricane Katrina to the Great Louisiana Flood of 2016 to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. We have have identified deficits in emergency preparedness for our particular population with each passing event and have refined a process to help families be better prepared for adverse climate situations ranging from hurricanes to blizzards, tornados to forest fires.
We have worked with Members of Congress, Governor’s cabinet staff members and State Offices of Emergency Preparedness, as well as individuals within the Centers for Disease Control, the American Red Cross and other civic groups to raise awareness about surviving the impact of devastating natural disasters – with autism. As a result of our efforts, some states have chosen to stockpile items such as weighted blankets, noise cancelling headphones and sensory toys prior, as well as provide expedited placement for those who choose to self-identify as having an ASD person in their party at evacuation centers to a quiet location within congregational shelters or expedited placement within FEMA provided evacuee hotel rooms.
We encourage all families, but especially those living with special needs, to develop a plan and prepare, and stay prepared, for emergency settings. We encourage our families to have a minimum 30 day supply of food, water and ability to manage well without electricity.
You can learn more about our ASDPlan which includes a check list of items to get your family Prepared, Not Scared.