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Additional Emergency Topics

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Video about Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs

Access and Functional Needs

It's difficult enough to prepare for a winter storm, tornado or other disaster when you don't have the added challenge of an access or functional need or a lack of resources. During an emergency, as a senior or an individual with an access or functional need or someone who cares for and about someone who does, access and functional needs must be considered when creating a household plan and emergency kit.


  • If you or a family member have difficulty moving quickly and easily, make sure your neighbors are aware and that you have someone who can check in during an emergency.

  • Develop a support network with several people who will continue to follow up with you following an emergency.

  • If in a multi-level dwelling, consider staying or relocating to the first floor.

Medication and Medical Supplies

  • Keep a separate supply of at least seven days' worth of any medication or critical medical supplies, such as oxygen.

  • If you rely on electric medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, ventilators and oxygen compressors, talk to your medical supply company about getting batteries or a generator as a back up power source. Also contact your electricity provider and register with them.

Additions to the Emergency Kit and Go Bag:

  • Extra mobility aids, including a manual wheelchair (car batteries may be used to run an electric wheelchair)

  • A whistle to signal for help

  • Necessary medications and supplies

  • Special sanitary needs

  • Important medical phone numbers

  • Food that meets specialized dietary needs

  • Make a list of your medications, medical conditions, insurance information and allergies, and have your insurance cards available. Keep one copy with you at all times, and give the other copy to someone else for safekeeping.


If you need assistance from a device to communicate effectively, please keep in mind backup power sources as well as tow tech solutions you could use during emergency situations.

For further information on Disabilities and Preparedness:


Pets and Disasters

Be Prepared with a Disaster Plan

If you are a pet owner, the disaster plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives. In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too. Leaving pets behind is likely to result in them being injured, lost or worse. Have your pet micro-chipped so they can easily be reunited with you.

Have a Safe Place To Take Your Pets

  • Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety regulations and other considerations. Service animals are the only exception.

  • Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets and restrictions on number, size and species. Keep a list of "pet friendly" places.

  • Ask friends, relatives or others outside the affected area whether they could shelter your animals. If you have more than one pet, it might be necessary to house them separately.

Portable Pet Disaster Supplies Kit

  • Whether you are away from home for a day or a week, you’ll need essential supplies.

  • Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a first aid kit.

  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape.

  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost. This will help to reunite you.

  • Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a can opener.

  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems and the name and number of your vet in case you have to foster or board your pets.

  • Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.

  • Have an out of state contact on your pet's collar in case local communication is down and your pet is lost. Ensure the out of state contact knows your pet and can describe them.

Know What To Do As a Disaster Approaches

  • Often warnings are issued hours, even days, in advance. At the first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet.

  • Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you and your pets.

  • Bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.

  • Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and securely fastened, up-to-date identification.

  • You may not be home when the evacuation order comes. Find out if a trusted neighbor would be willing to take your pets and meet you at a prearranged location.


Public Health

Public health emergencies may occur naturally (more likely) or as the result of intentional actions by a person or persons who wish to harm others.Each health emergency will differ in the population of people affected,the number of people affected, and the type and severity of illness in the affected persons.

In the event of a health emergency, Tri-County Health Department and the city of Aurora will provide recommendations on treatment for those who are ill, actions to be taken by people who have been exposed but are not ill, and actions people who are unaffected can take to decrease their chance of exposure. In response to some types of health emergencies, Tri-County Health Department and the city of Aurora may distribute medications and/or vaccines to those who have been affected and/or are most at risk. The city will disseminate event specific information via local media, websites and social media.

What to do during a public health emergency:

  • Stay informed. Listen to radio and television reports and check the websites of your local and state health department to learn about actions you can take.

  • Stay home until directed to do otherwise by officials.

  • If you need immediate medical attention for a life threatening emergency call 911.

Recommended websites:


Devastating acts such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Oklahoma City have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. However, terrorism is not limited by size or shape.

By definition, terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence committed by a group or individual against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. --U.S. Department of Justice

If you suspect you see what could be terrorist activities or related activities, please call the Colorado Information Analysis Center to report the activity at 1.877.509.CIAC (2422). Please go to CIAC for more information on terrorism and possible terrorist activities.

Often the goals of terrorism are:

  • Mass casualties

  • Loss of critical resources

  • Disruption of vital services

  • Disruption of the economy

  • Individual and mass panic

The best way to combat terrorism is to arm yourself with accurate information and basic emergency preparedness to face a wide variety of threats. It is important that you remain calm and think critically, be vigilant, and follow instructions from local officials.

Before a terrorist attack occurs

  • Have your 72-hour emergency supply kit ready.

  • Know the early warning systems for Aurora.

  • Have an established communication plan.

  • Have an established shelter-in-place and evacuation plan.

If there is a terrorist attack in Aurora or the Denver metro area

  • Stay calm.

  • Be alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for falling debris or additional attacks.

  • Deactivate the “block” feature on your telephone in case important information is sent via the Emergency Preparedness Network.

  • If you are at home or at work, listen to local TV and radio for instructions and travel information.

  • Follow the instructions of emergency service personnel in the area.

  • If the incident occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight—do not use matches or turn on electrical switches. This could ignite a fire or explosion.

  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly, disabled, children left home, or who live alone.

  • Only call 911 about life-threatening emergencies.

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