Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Are you prepared?

Having an emergency plan in place is important but when you have a child with special health care needs, it’s even more important to plan ahead to insure their safety.

Emergency situations may caused by a natural disaster such as tornado, hurricane, flooding, or snow and ice storms, giving you reason to evacuate on a moments notice.  While we hope disasters don’t happen, ALL families should have emergency plans for their children. If your son or daughter has special health care needs, your emergency plan will probably be more complicated, involve more people, and may require equipment. 

If your child......

  • Depends on electricity to breathe, be fed, to stay comfortable
  • Uses a wheel chair, walker or other device to move
  • Cannot survive extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold
  • Becomes afraid or agitated with sudden changes happen
  • Cannot get out of an emergency by him or herself for physical or emotional reasons
Planning how you will respond is critical! 
It means extra attention to details that other families
don’t have to worry about.

Things to consider:

  1. Does your family have a written emergency plan?
  2. Does your family have communication plan?
  3. Do you have a plan if you and your children are not together when an emergency strikes?
  4. Do you have an emergency kit with medication and other medical necessities?
  5. What will you do if your child has a service animal?

Go to Ready NC to download a template for making your family's emergency plan:  Ready NC 

To access and print an Emergency Preparedness Checklist, please go to: Checklist

To access an Emergency Information Form for your child, please go to: Emergency Information Form

To print a Care Notebook that includes a place to keep medical information and your child's daily routine, please go to: Care Notebook

To read about evacuation plans, go to: Evacuating Yourself and Your Family

Additional information on Emergency Preparedness can be found at: Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center

Enhanced 911:  Call your 911 Coordinator (see numbers below for your county) to register your child with a disability.  When you make a 911 emergency call, your home address and disability or medical information will be available for first responders. 

  • Cabarrus County: 704-920-2143
  • Rowan County: 704-216-8500
  • Stanly County: 704-983-4121 or 704-986-3700
  • Union County: 706-439-6038