Upper West Side CERT

News

Talking Points for People with Pets and Service Animals

Service dogIf you have ever loved an animal, you can imagine how devastating it would be to find yourself and your pet separated by a fire or flood. We all remember the heartbreaking images of abandoned pets in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which raged across the southeastern United States in 2005.

In the ensuing years, communities and emergency service organizations have worked to mitigate the effects that disasters can have on people and their animal companions. However, the most important element in disaster readiness is and always will be individual responsibility — being prepared.

This is Part 3 and our final installment of Ready New York Talking Points for People with Disabilities. It is intended for all pet owners, with or without a disability.

Make A Plan

  • Your pet is a part of the family and should be included in your emergency plan.
  • Your pet needs a Go Bag, too! It should contain all the supplies you would need for them in an emergency.
  • Pets, service animals, and therapy animals are allowed to shelter with their owners in any City emergency shelter. Animal and owner must be kept together.
  • In the event that you need to evacuate, think about where you would go with your pet and how you would get there.
  • Arrange for family or friends outside the affected area to shelter your pet; identify animal-friendly hotels outside the area.
  • If you use a service animal, be prepared to reach out to your support network in the event your service animal is stressed and unable to assist.
  • Speak with your local veterinarian or kennel to see if it can offer safe shelter.
  • Practice your evacuation routes to familiarize yourself and your service animal with the process.
  • If evacuating via public transportation, know that pets in carriers are allowed on the MTA; pets too large to fit into carriers will be allowed provided they are muzzled, leashed, and controlled.
  • Some emergencies may not allow you to travel home to get your pets; identify and make arrangements with a trusted neighbor or pet sitter to care for your pet in the event you cannot go home.
  • Know your pet’s hiding places so you can easily find it during an emergency; share this information with anyone who may need to rescue or care for pet in your absence.
  • Place stickers on the main entrance to your home to alert rescue workers of the number and types of pets inside. Update the information on the stickers every six months.

Gather Supplies

  • A current color photo of you and your pet or service animal in the event that you are separated.
  • A written physical description of your pet, including any distinguishing marks or characteristics.
  • Copies of your pet’s medical records, which should include dates of vaccinations and a list of any medications they are taking.
  • Proof of pet identification and ownership, and microchip information.
  • An animal first aid kit containing flea and tick treatment and any other items recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Food, water and dishes for your pet or service animal. If you use canned food, include a can opener.
  • Any necessary cleaning supplies.
  • A collapsible cage or carrier.
  • Your pet’s muzzle and leash.
  • A cotton sheet to place over your pet’s carrier to keep them calm.
  • Comforting toys and treats.
  • A litter pan and scoop for your cat.
  • Plastic bags to clean up after your animals.

Stay Informed

  • The Ready NY Pets Preparedness Guide is available in thirteen different languages and audio format. www.nyc.gov/readyny
  • The City has an emergency plan for pets called the Disaster Animal Response Plan, which covers co-sheltering pets with their owners, reunification, adoption, fostering and emergency veterinary care.
  • NYC Emergency Management leads the Animal Planning Task Force. The mission is to support the health and safety needs of people and their animals in emergencies and to educate the public with regard to emergency preparedness for their animals.

***

| More

Talking Points for People with Hearing Disabilities

speaking in sign-languageThis is Part 2 of a three-part series on Ready New York Talking Points for People with Disabilities. Our topic this week is preparedness for people with hearing disabilities.

If you are hearing disabled, these simple tips can make your life easier and safer. The key to readiness is to make a plan BEFORE an emergency, so you can be ready if there is one.

For everyone else, if you interact with people who have hearing loss — and most of us do at some time or another — the two etiquette tips that follow will help you to communicate more effectively.

TO BE HELPFUL

  • When interacting with a person who is deaf, make sure to speak to the person and not the interpreter.
  • When speaking with a person who is deaf or has hearing loss, make sure to stand in front of the person so they can read your lips.

IF YOU ARE DEAF OR HEARING IMPAIRED

Make A Plan

  • Make sure to have a back-up plan in case there are no interpreters available or your hearing aids are left behind.
  • Consider carrying a printed copy of key phrases, such as “I speak American Sign Language (ASL) and need an ASL interpreter or a communication board”.
  • Ask your building management or co-workers to help you identify emergency exit locations in advance.
  • Service centers and accessible evacuation centers will provide Video Remote Interpretation (VRI). In the event VRI is not available due to connectivity issues, in-person ASL interpreters can be provided.

Gather Supplies

  • Everyone needs a Go Bag. Follow this link to get started: Are You Prepared?
  • Put back-up hearing aids in your Go Bag, in case you need to leave in a hurry. This can be an old pair of hearing aids in good condition.
  • Make sure to include extra batteries for hearing aids, implants, TTY, tablet, and/or light phone signaler.
  • Consider having a communication board and portable charger to communicate through text messages or Video Relay Interpretation.
  • Keep a whistle (or other items that make noise) in your Go Bag, so that in an emergency you can signal to your neighbors that you need help.

Stay Informed

  • If you have questions about city services or an emergency, you can call 311’s video relay number at 212-639-9675, or call 212-504-4115 for TTY.
  • Ready NY videos provide captioning for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. www.nyc.goc/readyny
  • Notify NYC alerts are provided in American Sign Language (ASL). www.nyc.gov/notifynyc

***

June 18 – Talking Points for Pets and Service Animals

| More

Talking Points for People with Vision Disabilities (and Those Who Wish to Help Them)

Blind man walkingThis is Part 1 of a three-part series on Ready New York Talking Points for People with Disabilities. We thank the NYC Office of Emergency Management for sharing this important information.

If you have a physical disability, we hope you will find these tips useful. If you happen to be a volunteer who works with disabled individuals, we hope they make your interactions easier and more meaningful.

TO BE HELPFUL

  • When interacting with someone who is Blind, announce yourself and describe information in detail.
  • In the event you see a person who is Blind struggling to find their way, ask if they need assistance and then offer your elbow to guide them.

IF YOU ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED

Make A Plan

  • Provide copies of important medical information to your support network, and make sure to place this information on a thumb drive or in another accessible format.
  • Know the level of assistance you will need during an emergency, and make sure to inform your support network.
  • Let first responders know how best to guide you and ask for details on where they are guiding you.
  • Ask your building management or co-workers to help you identify emergency exit locations in advance.
  • Place exit indicators/tactile markers in your home along the baseboard of exit routes.
  • The Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder can be accessed by visiting nyc.gov/knowyourzone or by calling 311 (212-639-9675 for video relay, or 212-504-4115 for TTY).
  • Current Access-A-Ride customers can call Access-A-Ride directly and indicate that they would like to request evacuation assistance. Customers can also call 311.

Gather Supplies

  • Everyone needs a Go Bag. Follow this link to get started: Are You Prepared?
  • A back-up cane in the event your cane breaks, or if your guide dog is unable to handle an emergency situation.
  • A heavy pair of gloves to protect your hands, given how much you need to rely on touch.
  • Supplies for your service animal (e.g., water, food, blanket, toys, leash, vet contact info).
  • Mark your supplies with yellow tape, large print, or Braille so you are able to identify them.
  • Even though you have a vision disability, a flashlight can offer assistance not only for your mobility, but also for that of someone who might be with you. A flashlight and whistle are both imperative for visibility and signaling purposes. The human voice can only shout at its highest volume for about four minutes; a whistle can work for far longer to signal anyone within earshot that you are in need of help.

Stay Informed

  • Ready NY materials are offered in Audio format and in Braille, and are accessible with screen reading and screen magnification software. Visit www.nyc.gov/readyny.
  • Ready NY videos feature audio descriptions for those with vision disabilities.
  • Notify NYC voiceover messages can be accessed at www.nyc.gov/notifynyc.

***

June 11 – Talking Points for People with Hearing Disabilities
June 18 – Talking Points for Pets and Service Animals

| More

A Year of Ready New York for Upper West Siders

Upper West Side CERT is right on track in its commitment to produce a readiness event for the local community at least six times a year. Its Ready New York (RNY) presentations and tabling events bring preparedness skills and awareness to diverse populations on the Upper West Side and provide a valuable opportunity to get people thinking about the value of informed self-reliance.

In the past year we have mounted:

  • 4/11/18 – RNY for 29 West 65 Street
  • 4/25/18 – RNY for 10 West 66 Street
  • 8/7/18 – National Night Out in Verdi Square
  • 9/5/18 – RNY at Community Board 7
  • 10/10/18 – Pet Safe on the Esplanade in Riverside Park
  • 2/8/19 – RNY for Seniors at Goddard Riverside Community Center
  • 3/26/19 RNY for students at Booker T. Washington Middle School

Ready New York presentations are free and available to groups of 20 people or more. We cover how to evacuate or shelter in place in the event of an emergency, how to build a Go Bag and make a plan, and how to access vital information and resources online.

If you would like to arrange a Ready New York presentation for your group, email ready@uwscert.org, and someone will get back to you.

If you are interested in becoming a CERT member, you can learn all about the program and how to get trained here. Once you are certified, UWS CERT’s Recruitment and Orientation Committee can help you find meaningful involvement with the team.

Make this your year to Get Ready!

 

| More