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Time to Evacuate: Zoe’s Story

In a typical day, many families are apart throughout cities and towns because of work or school. You never know if you will be with your family when an emergency occurs. That’s why it’s important to have an evacuation plan that involves all family members and any child caretakers to help bring your family together.

Photo of people looking at a wildfire.

More than 500 homes were destroyed when a wildfire swept across Lorraine’s town, forcing hundreds of families to evacuate. “Evacuations began when both parents were at work, leaving our child with her nurse assistant stranded at home while we rushed home fighting traffic,” says Lorraine. Her daughter, Zoe, needs a caretaker at all times because of spinal muscular atrophy , which requires her to be completely dependent on someone for her daily living activities. Zoe also requires special equipment such as a power wheelchair, hospital bed for sleeping, oxygen pump, and a patient lift to help move from one place to another. Without much time to prepare for the evacuation, Lorraine and her husband had to quickly pack all of Zoe’s medical supplies and evacuate to a hotel for a couple of days.

“We now have a portion of her supplies packed and ready to go as well as a list of her essential equipment with it so we can grab that as well,” says Lorraine. Lorraine also recommends having a thumb drive of all important information, copies of all important documents, and a solid plan on where to go. Be sure to talk to your child’s caretaker about your family disaster plan for evacuating, including needed medical supplies and a meeting location for your family.

For more information about creating an evacuation plan visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/affectedpersons.asp

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