Community Support: Maddie’s Story

Local organizations such as the fire or police department, nonprofits, or emergency shelters can provide helpful information and support during an emergency. Contact similar organizations ahead of time to find out about emergency plans for children with special healthcare needs.

 Photo of people with hands together.

In one southern town, April combined her own planning with local community resources to prepare her family for Hurricane Isaac. In particular, April had to prepare to meet her daughter Maddie’s medical needs. Maddie has spina bifida, which requires her to have diapers, a catheter, and medications on hand. Organizations like Families Helping Families and Family Voices of Louisiana provided helpful assistance to help April prepare for the hurricane.

April felt ready to meet Maddie’s medical needs during the hurricane, even though they were without power for 4 days. “You should always prepare before a storm if you have a child with special healthcare needs,” she says. She also suggests using local organizations similar to the ones she used to get information about preparing for an emergency. “Families should have a plan and backup plans in place and keep up with alerts and special needs shelters in case of an evacuation.”

Local organizations can provide helpful information and tools to assist you and your family during an emergency. Contact local chapter organizations in your area and ask about resources that are available to help families plan for emergencies, such as natural or chemical disasters. Visit the following sites for more information about planning for a disaster and emergency resources.