61150 SE 27th Street, Bend, OR

Preparing Other Family Members

Preparing Other Family Members

Below are some ideas on how to prepare those who may need some extra time evacuating. Whether that’s a family member that has some special needs or needs extra time or a neighbor that you know of. Making sure that everyone is prepared for evacuation especially our community members that may be at risk is just as important as preparing those around us.

Special Needs Preparedness

The first line of defense against the effects of a disaster is personal preparedness. During an emergency, the government and other agencies may not be able to meet your needs. It is important for all citizens and especially those with special needs to make their own emergency plans and prepare for their own care and safety in an emergency. Those with greater risks, special needs, and their families, friends, and associates have the opportunity to prepare so that emergency responders can better serve them in a disaster or other emergency.

How to Prepare


Know your community and residential hazards (wildfire, floods, etc.)


Create a personal support network of family, friends, coworkers and talk about the limitations and needs that might arise during an emergency. Create an evacuation plan for your home and workplace. Plan how you will get away and where you will go.


Your emergency kit should have supplies specific to your special needs. For a list of kit essentials, visit our Build Your Kit page.


Sign-up for the Deschutes County Special Needs Registry. Create your own evacuation action guide with friends and family.

What is the Special Needs Registry?

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management has an established a Special Needs Registry to collect information emergency responders will need to locate, advise, and evacuate people with special needs or high risks during an emergency, especially when a family, caregiver or others are unable to help them.

The Registry is used to alert emergency responders to residents who need assistance in the event of an evacuation or to advise a person of a situation in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

Registration is voluntary. The information collected in the registry is confidential and will not be available to the public. The information will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning.

Who Should Register?

You (or someone on your behalf) should register if you may find it difficult to get to safety with family or friends or to a public shelter during an emergency evacuation, because of a physical or cognitive limitation, language barrier, or lack of transportation.

The Special Needs Registry should be considered strongly for all people who:

  • have special medical needs (i.e. oxygen or life support systems that are dependent upon electrical power);

  • are frail, elderly, medically needy or have physical disabilities that would make it difficult to evacuate independently if the need arose; and

  • are not served in or by a residential facility program (i.e. nursing home, retirement apartments, etc.).

Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities or Special Needs


  • Wear medical alert tags/bracelets to help identify your disability/special

  • Practice how to quickly explain your condition and your equipment to someone who is helping

  • Contact your physician to discuss your needs for skilled medical

  • Make a list of family, friends, co-workers, service providers, and others who should be contacted and can

  • If you receive regular services (home health care, transportation, dialysis), make a plan with each service provider. Learn how to contact them in an emergency. Work with them to identify back-up service

  • If you are dependent on dialysis or other life-sustaining treatment or equipment, know the locations and availability of more than one facility in your area


  • Ensure accessible exits and access to all safe areas are identified and

  • If you have visual/sensory disabilities, plan for someone to convey essential emergency information to you if you are unable to use the television or

  • Have a cell phone with an extra

  • Learn about devices and other technology available to assist you in receiving emergency instructions and warnings from local

  • Consider getting a medical alert system that will allow you to call for help if you are immobilized in an emergency.


  • Ensure you have enough of your required prescription medications, in case refills are inaccessible. It is recommended that you have a minimum two-week supply of all your prescription

  • Have a written instructions regarding care and medication (name of medication, doses, list of doctors, list of style and serial number of medical devices you use)


  • Know where to find important documents (medical insurance, Medicare/Medicaid cards, social security card, medical records, bank account numbers)


  • Know how to connect and start a backup power supply for essential medical

  • If you use an electric wheelchair or scooter, have a manual wheelchair as a back-up.

  • Label medical equipment, assistive devices, and any other necessary equipment and attach laminated instructions for equipment Also include your identification information.

  • Store backup equipment (mobility, medical, ) at an alternate location (friend’s, family member’s, neighbor’s or caregiver’s home, school or workplace).

  • Wheelchair users need to have more than one exit from their residence that is wheelchair accessible. Practice how to escape from your

  • Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.