Regional Disaster Preparedness


Title: Together Against the Weather

The video opens with the "Together Against the Weather" Logo.

The entire video is captioned at the bottom left of the screen. At the bottom right of the screen, simultaneous sign language interpretation is provided.

A woman with a child in her lap begins speaking.

Woman: If your child, or someone that you care for, has health issues, such as physical disabilities, developmental disorders, or other challenges, preparing for hurricane season doesn't have to be overwhelming if you take it step by step.

Caption: Make a Plan

The woman organizes the child's clothes in his closet. She helps him change into a polo shirt.

Narrator: Time and energy are in short supply for parents and care-givers of children with functional support needs. That's why it helps to make a plan, one step at a time.

The woman is now in the kitchen. She inspects the child's medications and starts making a list.

Narrator: What unique needs does your child have? For the next two days, make a list of all the things that you do and use to care for your child and keep them safe. The go over the list and mark the things you must have to stay in your home for at least a week or more without power, or any way to get supplies, including back-up batteries, feeding supplies, and diapers or pull-ups.

The woman and the child are sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office. They go in and the doctor examines the child. The child eagerly takes his shirt off so the doctor can listen to his breathing.

Narrator: Visit with your child's medical team to get their input on what you'll need to be prepared. Their unique understanding of your family can be a big help in thinking through important planning questions like...

The screen shows an animation of a notepad with paraphrased versions of the following questions written on it. As the questions appear, the narrator reads out the full questions as follows:


We now go back to seeing the mother and child in the exam room with the doctor. The mother is speaking with the doctor (inaudible) as the child moves around excitedly. The doctor then writes out a prescription and gives it to the mother.

Narrator: Ask your child's doctor about getting extra medications to keep with hurricane supplies, and written prescriptions, including prescriptions for custom-mixed medications and feeding-formulas, that can be kept with other important papers.

The mother is shopping at a supermarket. She walks through the aisles with a shopping cart, picking up normal groceries.

Narrator: Once you have your list of what you can't be without, start buying extras a little at a time, so that the cost of being prepared isn't as difficult.

The mother returns home with bags of groceries that she sets on the counter. One of the items she takes out is an American Red Cross pre-packaged first aid kit.

Narrator: Taking steps now to help prepare for hurricanes is a good way to protect your family from other emergencies, like flooding, power outages, and wildfires.

We transition to a new family. A girl with a developmental disability sits in a power wheelchair. Her mother sits on a regular chair next to her, as a man and another woman (wearing a yellow shirt) stand behind them.

Caption: Hurricane Helper

Mother: We can all use help, and teaming up with a "Hurricane Helper" is a great way to be prepared.

The mother sits next to her daughter as she prepares to give a liquid feeding treatment.

Narrator: Who can you depend on when a hurricane is coming? Who knows your family well and is able to help?

The mother and daughter sit in a park. Other people walk by. The woman in the yellow shirt, the man from the introduction to this section, and a young boy wearing a baseball glove and tossing a ball walk up. They begin talking with the mother (inaudible).

Narrator: If caring for your child has kept you from being with other people, who can you team up with now so that you have support in a storm, and help traveling to safe place if necessary?

The man helps the mother move a generator using a wheeled dolly, while the mother carries a large extension cord.

Narrator: Maybe it's a neighbor who can move a generator in to place and get it started...

The mother is now transferring supplies from her car to that of a blonde woman/

Narrator: ...or another family from your child clinic that has plans to evacuate to the same place you do and is interested in sharing travel expenses and supplies along the way.

The mother is now back inside her house. She is in a room with built-in bookshelves filled with medical supplies, cleaning equipment, and other items needed to care for her daughter. She is organizing the supplies and counting them.

Narrator: If your plan is to stay at home, what will you need from your list of things you depend on to be on your own for several days without running water or electricity?

The mother sits in an oversized chair with her daughter in her lap. The mother is reading to her daughter from a book (inaudible). We clearly see that the daughter has a tracheotomy tube and is breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Narrator: Does your child rely on electric-powered equipment, or take medicines that need to be kept cool in the refrigerator?

The camera zooms in on a battery for the ventilator that is sitting on a side table.

Narrator: If so, what back-up systems do you have for when the power goes out?

Two people stand outside the mother's house. They are repairing a window-mounted air conditioner.

Narrator: Remember, in preparing for emergencies, think about what you must have. Do you need to power the whole house, or just a window unit air conditioner, ventilator, and small refrigerator?

We see the mother's generator and extension cord from earlier sitting in her driveway. The man that was assisting the mother with the generator closes the garage door. Plastic gas cans sit further back in the driveway. The man assists the mother by passing the extension cord through the window, then plugs the cord into the generator.

Narrator: If you have a generator, do you have the fuel that you'll need and know how to use it? Safely? Practice with your family and Hurricane Helper.

The helpful man and woman (in a yellow shirt) are inside the house as the mother shows them how to operate the ventilator (inaudible).

Narrator: Talk about other support your Hurricane Helper can provide in a storm, including how to operate the equipment your child uses. Be sure that both your power company and local fire department have been told if your child depends on electricity for life-support equipment.

The mother is in the kitchen and takes down a cardboard box. She starts unpacking medical supplies. She then dials the phone (inaudible).

Narrator: Don't assume that any agencies you depend on now will continue to help during a hurricane. Talk directly with the company that provides your medical supplies, or nursing support, to be sure that any assistance you are counting on will be there when you need it.

We transition to a third family. The family consists of a mother, father, teenage son, pre-teen daughter, and a young boy.

Caption: When it's time to go

Mother: Sometimes, staying home isn't an option. If your zip code is being evacuated, or being home without electricity and running water for several days will be dangerous for your child --

Pre-teen daughter: -- then have a plan ready --

Father: -- for when it's time to move to a safer location.

The father, mother, and young child sit in the living room. On the living room table is a newspaper and a radio. The mother adjusts the radio as they all listen.

Narrator: Mandatory evacuations for a hurricane are based on the risk of storm surge -- severe flooding caused by water pushed on shore by heavy winds.

We see a map. The camera starts over the Gulf of Mexico, then pans over portions of the coastal area near Houston. The map has areas of risk marked in different colors. Local highways that serve as evacuation routes are also clearly marked.

Narrator: So the closer you live to the coastline, the more likely you are to be evacuated. Know your risks. If it's likely that your zip code will be evacuated in a hurricane, and you and your child will need transportation to safety, dial the 2-1-1 Texas/United Way Helpline today to register for free help.

Caption: Dial 2-1-1 to register for transportation

A 2-1-1 operator answers a phone call.

2-1-1 Operator: 2-1-1 Texas, how can I help you?

Narrator: Registering for transportation assistance by dialing 2-1-1 ...

2-1-1 Operator (to caller): Do you have transportation to evacuate?

Narrator: ... was developed to help in other emergencies too, like wildfires, flooding, or power outages.

We see a picture of a sign. It reads: 2-1-1/Texas United Way Helpline. Need Help? Dial 2-1-1. A free helpline operated by United Way of Greater Houston 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in many languages. At the bottom are the 2-1-1 Texas logo and the United Way of Greater Houston logo.

Narrator: So even though your area may not be evacuated for a hurricane, if you'll need transportation in a mandatory evacuation, it's a good idea to register today.

The video switches back to the home, where the father sits on the couch and writes on a map.

Narrator: If your zip code isn't evacuated, but staying home with your child won't be safe, make a plan now for where you will go, and how you will get there.

The mother pushes the younger boy in a stroller through a doctor's office. They stop at a nurse's station where the mother speaks to the nurse (inaudible). The nurse then takes the child's blood pressure. Finally, we see the mother talking to a doctor (inaudible).

Narrator: Talk to your child's medical team about what continued treatment your child will require while away, and your best options for finding a safe place to stay. Emergency rooms and hospitals are not shelters. That's why it's important that, unless your child requires emergency care, you have a plan for where you can go that will have the electric power and access to any medical care your child may need.

The mother stands in the kitchen and dials the phone (inaudible). The screen splits and we see she is talking with a pharmacist (inaudible).

Narrator: Before you evacuate, it's important to know who you will count on when you get to where you're going, like the closest pharmacist or pediatric specialty center. Take time now to introduce yourself to them and confirm that they will be able to access your child's updated medical history and prescriptions.

The mother and the pre-teen daughter pack supplies into a suitcase and a large plastic bin. The camera zooms into a stuffed animal being packed in a suitcase. The mother then puts some items into a plastic zip-top bag.

Narrator: Know what you'll need from your list to be safely away from home for at least two weeks, including items you rely on to comfort your child and keep them calm. Seal medications, and any medical supplies that shouldn't get wet into plastic bags.

We see an animation of a notepad. The text that appears on the notepad is a paraphrased version of the following items listed by the narrator.

Narrator: Important documents, like your child's medical records, copies of written prescriptions, insurance and benefit cards, emergency health information (such as allergies and physician contact information), and your child's treatment plan should also be stored in water-tight plastic and kept where you can get to them quickly.

The mother packs up a portable medical device into a bag, then attaches a luggage tag to the bag.

Narrator: Tags with your name, address, and phone number should be attached to any equipment that you'll be taking with you.

The first mother and her son (with the polo shirt) from the start of the film stand at a table and the mother writes down information on a tag inside one of her son's shirts.

Narrator: Adding identification and contact information to the clothing of children who have difficulty understanding, or cannot talk, is also an important safety measure.

It's a clear and sunny day. An SUV drives up to a gas pump. The father from the third family puts gas into the SUV.

Narrator: Don't wait until the last minute to make a move. It's much better to give yourself plenty of time to get to safety.

The rest of the third family takes their packed suitcases out of the house and places them in the waiting SUV.

Narrator: Will you travel with your hurricane helper? If he or she can't get to you, do you have a back-up helper for traveling to a safe place? And if your zip code is evacuated and you'll need transportation, dial 2-1-1 today to register for help.

Caption: Dial 2-1-1 to register for transportation

Mother (of third family): Most of all, have a support system you can count on now for when you need it.

Teenage son (from third family): Because we're better together.

Mother of daughter in wheelchair and the helpful woman in a yellow shirt: Together

First mother (of the son in the polo shirt): Together against the weather.

Credits: Together Against the Weather Logo.

Credits: Produced by Newman and Newman. Award-winning productions.

Credits: © 2012 Houston-Galveston Area Council

End of film.