If you have a disability or any requirements that may put you at greater risk in an emergency, follow these steps to get ready.

Talk about how an emergency could affect you

In an emergency, civil defence and emergency services will be busy helping the people who need them most. It’s up to you to get ready. That may mean having things like medical supplies or backup power systems for three days or more.

How will an emergency affect you? What if the roads and shops are closed? What if there is no power, water, phone or internet? What if you have to leave home in a hurry?

Talk with your household and your support network about:

  • the types of supplies you might need
  • the support you need, and
  • where you will go if you can’t stay at home.

Think about what you will do if:

  • things have moved around or broken, or there is debris
  • familiar landmarks move or are destroyed
  • your service animal is hurt or too frightened to work.

Make a plan

Make a plan to get through emergency. You should decide what you will be able to do for yourself and what help you may need before, during and after an emergency.

Make a list of your personal needs and your resources for meeting them in an emergency. An emergency can change your ability to deal with your environment. It's important you plan for your lowest level of functioning.

Make sure you're familiar with the plans for your work, school or any other places you spend a lot of time. If your work or school's current plan doesn't make arrangements for disabled people, make sure management knows your needs.

Build a personal support network

Build a support team of people who will help you in an emergency, before you need them. In an emergency, you may need to ask for help to do the things you usually do independently.

The first people to help in an emergency are often your neighbours, friends, caregivers and co-workers. They should be people who are often in the same area as you.

Get to know your neighboursShare contact details so you can get in touch if an emergency happens. Tell them about your emergency plan and ask about their plans.

Do not depend on one person. That person may not be able to contact you or be available when you need them.

Your support network can help you get ready for an emergency. For example, they can help you check your home or workplace to make sure it is safe and suitable.

Build a support team at each place where you spend a large part of your day. Talk with your support team about your emergency plan. This can help your network members learn the best way to help you and give you other ideas to think about.

Practice your plan with your support network. Include how you will Drop, Cover and Hold in an earthquake and how you will evacuate if you are in a tsunami or flood zone.

Agree on how you will contact each other during an emergency. How will you contact each other if internet and phone lines are down?

Get your network to check on you immediately if you are advised to evacuate.

Make sure you have any supplies you may need

In an emergency, roads and shops could close for days. Make sure you have supplies for at least three days. Include any medicine or special equipment you may need.

  • If you need to refrigerate your medical supplies, make sure you have an alternative power supply or refrigeration system.
  • Wear a medical alert tag or bracelet to identify your disability or health condition.
  • Work out what supplies you need. Have essential supplies in a grab bag in case you need to leave in a hurry.
  • If you are traveling, let a hotel or motel manager know your needs in case of an emergency.
  • Know where to go for help if you are dependent on life-sustaining equipment or treatment that might not work in an emergency.
  • If you have dietary requirements or food allergies, make sure you have enough food for up to three days. You should also include snack food in your grab bag and make sure your meeting place is stocked with long-lasting, suitable foods.
  • If you have asthma or a respiratory disorder, make sure your grab bag has dust masks (rated P2 or N95). Emergencies like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can make it harder to breathe.