Disaster Preparedness for Autistic Children

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Preparing your family for an emergency or disaster can be difficult, but disaster preparedness for autistic children can be especially tricky for parents. Here’s a list of internet resources I found to help:

Identification Sticker-In a disaster situation autistic children need to be easily identifiable to emergency personnel.  As a part of its Safe and Sound Initiative, the Autism Society has created an emergency identification decal for autistic children that you can read more about here.

72 Hour Kits A great post from a mom blogger about preparing 72 hour kits for her kids.

FEMA Publications-You can download FEMA’s “Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs” for free.  The booklet helps you to prepare an emergency plan for your family.

American Red Cross- The Red Cross has a publication you can download called “Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities”. The booklet is designed to help people with disabilities to prepare for natural disasters and  includes checklists and guidelines.


The best plan is to educate yourself and your child and to prepare in a low stress way so that you can be ready for whatever comes.


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  1. beveanne mckinley says

    read survival books to with or on his own so he can have that in reserve in his brain. we can follow instruction just not much sucess with the unknown

      • Leece says

        THANK YOU for posting this! I just wrote an ‘evacuation plan’ for the new school we are opening. holy cow it is so difficult to do that with 20 kids – some of which are non-verbal autistic!
        I think being prepared and having an action plan is key – but having your kids (and everyone else in the house) understand WHAT the plan is and HOW to accomplish the goal (–get the heck out in one piece with everyone and everything!)… well then you have a great set up.
        Drills. Drills. Drills. Set up drills and put them into play. I say once a month. Have your kiddos (autistic or not) go to the different safe places (police station, fire station, ER) and look around. Let them get familiar with the places – in case you ever have to visit. With one of my school kids, I had to start transitioning him to the new school in APRIL and he’s not starting until the end of AUGUST…. so you can only imagine if I just brought him into the ER how he would ‘freak out’ in half a second and scare the day lights out of the sweet nurses/staff!
        In the words of the Disney movie that a lot of kids stim off of, the Lion King, BE PREPARED!!! :)

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