Disasters and emergencies interrupt the lives of millions of people every year. In 2021, more than 400 disastrous events related to natural hazards occurred, affecting 100 million people and causing more than 10,000 deaths. These numbers don’t even consider other isolated emergencies, such as house fires.
Certain populations, like those who depend on AAC devices, are more vulnerable during times of disaster and in the aftermath. This is no small population. Millions of people in the United States live with voice, speech, and/or language disorders or conditions. For many, AAC devices are crucial tools that allow their users to communicate beyond traditional verbal communication.
Emergency events are challenging. Tensions are likely high, and the stakes are raised. When considering disaster preparedness, AAC users have unique needs to take into account. If you or a loved one rely on AAC, taking the right steps today could mean all the difference during a disaster.
Luckily, you’re not alone in this challenge. The United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) is leading the way with an in-depth disaster preparedness initiative. The Disaster Relief Committee of USSAAC developed a comprehensive toolkit that will help AAC users navigate disaster.
One element covered in the USSAAC toolkit is what’s called a go-bag. When an emergency strikes, packing should be the last thing on your mind. Every second counts, so it’s important to have your essentials on hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Getting Started with an Emergency AAC Go-Bag
When building your go-bag, consider the following items:
- Water and reusable water bottle
- Non-perishable food
- Prescription medication
- Emergency information
- First aid kit
- Cash (small bills)
- Local map with evacuation routes labeled
- USB portable power bank
If you or a loved one use an AAC device, add the following to your emergency bag:
- Extra power source
- Laminated communication boards
- Communication ID card
It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all go-bag. You’ll need to customize your bag based on your location and personal needs. A go-bag is just one of the many steps in ensuring your emergency preparedness. Visit USSAAC to access their complete toolkit for free!
If you would like to learn more about AAC, schedule a consult with a member of our team. After the call, you can request to be sent a free laminated communication board as a thank-you for speaking with us. Simply follow the schedule button below to get started.
Lingraphica Can Help
We help adults with speech and language impairments to reconnect with family and friends, improve communication, and live their best lives. Call us at 866-570-8775 or visit the link below to get started.