Emergency Evacuation

Some of our faithful FAQautism.com followers live in parts of the world where earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, and even civil unrest or war can lead to unexpected emergency evacuations. What would you grab in the event you and your youngster with autism were required to suddenly leave your home?

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Essentials. You might consider keeping a bag packed with a change of clothes and basic toiletries for everyone. If you must leave in a rush, don’t forget your cell phone, phone charger, and prescription meds.

Personal Bag. Let your youngster pack his own small, zippered bag with items such as a familiar book, favorite game or toy, familiar video/DVD and portable player, iPod, or other personal items. To help ease transition into unfamiliar surroundings during the emergency evacuation, include a small photo album with pictures of family, friends, pets, house, and other familiar people and places.

Sleep-Tight Bag. To help encourage peaceful sleep in unfamiliar places, pack your youngster’s pillow, sheet/blanket, pajamas, toothbrush, and teddy bear in a colorful stuff bag that is easy to identify and locate when you stop for the night.

YIKES! Kit. Keep an emergency kit handy that not only has first aid items and medications, but also some water bottles, snacks, water-free hand cleaner, wet-wipes, zip lock bags, flashlight with extra batteries, and other items you anticipate needing.

TIP FOR THE DAY: Calm, measured responses to emergency situations help prevent panic and helplessness. You can help allay anxiety and agitation in the event of an emergency evacuation by gathering up essential items. Be prepared!

NOTE TO READERS AND LISTENERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. Feel free to send me a confidential email at talk@FAQautism.com with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solution. And don’t forget to check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. http://FAQautism.com

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