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 man holding a cane begins speaking.

Caption: Your Support System

Man: If you or someone you care for have medical problems, hearing loss, blindness, or other challenges, the first step to take in preparing for hurricane season is to get a good support system. Who can you count on for help in an emergency?

A woman is shown pouring coffee for the visually-impaired man as they sit in their home. She the guides him as they walk into another room. They then sit down on a couch and begin reviewing information from a pamphlet.

Narrator: We can all use help, and for persons with special needs, teaming up with a hurricane helper is a great way to be prepared. Who can you depend on when a hurricane is coming? Who understands what you need and will be able to help? And if you know someone with special needs, have you let them know that they can count on you in an emergency? Once you've teamed up with a helper, talk about the different ways you can communicate ...

Woman: Now you have my new office number, right?

Man: Right.

The woman writes emergency contact information on a "Together Against the Weather" card.

Narrator: ... because different emergencies can knock out different systems, so the more ways you have to stay in touch, the better.

The man types at a computer. The screen has large font, and he leans forward to see the keyboard. The camera pans across the desk, where we see a standard landline telephone that does not have a power cord that is separate from the phone line cord.

Narrator: Do you have a standard phone connection that doesn't need electricity if the power goes out or cell phone lines are jammed?

The man manipulates part of his emergency kit.

Narrator: Will you and your hurricane helper be together during the storm? Visit about what you'll need to be safe and to stay informed.

The man walks down the street with the aid of his cane. His helper follows behind pulling a rolling suitcase. They walk up to the man's car and she puts the suitcase in the trunk.

Narrator: If your zip code must be evacuated, or it's just not a good idea for you to stay at home, will your hurricane helper be able to get you to a safe place? If not, and you'll need transportation, dial 2-1-1 today to register for help.

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

We then switch to a woman with a walker.

Caption: Making a plan

Woman with a walker: I kept hearing, "you need to have a plan," but I didn't know where to start, so I began by making a list of the things I need every day, like medicines and my walker.

We see the woman at home. She takes her medications by the kitchen sink.

Narrator: Preparing for hurricane season doesn't have to be overwhelming if you take it step-by-step. For the next two days, make a list of all the things you do and use.

The woman makes notes on a notepad. She then meets with another woman and they review her list.

Narrator: Then, with your hurricane helper, go over the list and mark the things you can't be without.

Woman with a walker: Now, this is my list.

We see a mother at a desk in a child's room making a list.

Narrator: If you have a child with special needs, make a list of everything that's used to care for them.

A woman walks down the hall with the aid of a service dog.

Narrator: If you have a pet or service animal, what does it need each day?

We see the woman with a walker again, as her friend helps her unfold the walker.

Narrator: Now that you have your list, what "extras" would you need to have to stay in your home for at least a week or more without electricity, or any way to get supplies, including medications, batteries for hearing aids, and anything you might need for the equipment you depend on.

The woman with a walker and her friend pick up items in a grocery store.

Narrator: Then buy a few extras each time you shop, so the cost of being prepared isn't as difficult.

The woman with a walker talks to her doctor.

Narrator: When you see your physician, ask about getting extra medications to keep with your hurricane supplies, and written prescriptions that can be kept with other important papers.

The woman with a walker is shown back at home. Her friend helps her store the walker, and the woman starts using a cane. They are then shown putting up the groceries they just bought.

Narrator: If you must evacuate your home, is the equipment that you use portable, or will you need something else to travel with? Helping to make a plan by starting with a list of every day needs, and storing extras a little at a time, is a great example of how hurricane helpers can really make a difference.

A man is shown in an electric wheelchair.

Caption: Are you safe at home?

Man in wheelchair: Staying safe is what preparing for hurricanes, and other emergencies, is all about. How safe is your home, and what should you do to be ready?

The man is shown in his home as a woman in scrubs points out a fire extinguisher. It is mounted on the wall below the level of the countertop, at a height the man can reach from his chair.

Narrator: Every home should have basic safety equipment, like fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.

The woman in yellow scrubs changes the batteries in the man's smoke detectors. She has to reach to be able to install the smoke detector on the ceiling and press the test button.

Narrator: Do you keep them working with fresh batteries, and are you able to operate them on your own? If not, helping to make your home safe is another important job for hurricane helpers.

The woman in yellow scrubs helps the man in the wheelchair pack his medications into a zip-top bag. She checks off items on the man's supply list as they collect them.

Narrator: Remember the list you made of things you depend on every day? Be sure you have the supplies you will need to be self-sufficient at home without running water or electricity.

The woman in scrubs picks up packages from the front door for the man in the wheelchair. They then set up a phone with oversize buttons.

Narrator: If you're relying on agencies that help you now to continue helping during a hurricane, don't assume anything. Talk directly with your support systems to be sure that any supplies or assistance that you're counting on will be there when you need it.

A baby on a ventilator plays with its mother.

Narrator: And if you depend on electricity for life-support equipment, be sure that both your power company and local fire department have been notified. Still, even though you may be on a power priority list, it's important to have back-up power options like batteries and generators for vital equipment.

The mother plugs a battery into the ventilator. The woman in yellow scrubs helps the man in the wheelchair into his chair.

Narrator: Who will be with you during a hurricane? Practice with your hurricane helper any assistance they will need to provide including medications you take and how to operate any equipment that you use.

A woman begins speaking.

Caption: When it's time to go

Woman: Sometimes, staying home isn't an option. If an evacuation is necessary, or being home without electricity or running water for several days will be dangerous for you, then have a plan ready for when it's time to move to a safer location.

A map of hurricane evacuation zones is shown.

Narrator: Just like there are different strengths of hurricanes, there are different levels of risk for areas in their path. The closer you live to the coastline, the more likely you are to be evacuated.

The woman from the previous screen is shown at home with an elderly man as they listen to a radio.

Narrator: But danger can come in many forms, so it's important to stay aware of emergency instructions no matter where you live.

The man, woman, and a younger woman pack the man's clothes and medications into a suitcase.

Narrator: But don't wait until the last minute to make a move. If you have special needs, it's much better to give yourself plenty of travel time to get to safety. Know what you'll need from your list to be safely away from home for at least two weeks. Seal medications, hearing aid batteries, and any other supplies that shouldn't get wet into plastic bags.

An animation of a checklist is shown. The items on the checklist are discussed by the narrator.

Narrator: Important documents like family phone numbers, copies of written prescriptions, insurance and benefit cards, emergency health information (such as allergies and physician contact information) should also be stored in water-tight plastic and kept where you can get to them quickly.

The woman puts a pen and a notepad into the man's shirt pocket.

Narrator: Keep a pen and paper handy if you have difficulty communicating or remembering instructions. And tags with your name, address, and phone number should be put on any equipment that you'll be taking with you.

A tag is placed on a pack attached to a medical device. The woman helps the man into the front passenger seat of the car and the girl gets into the back seat.

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

Narrator: When it's time to leave, will you travel with your hurricane helper? If he or she can't get to you, do you have a backup helper for getting to a safe place? If not, and you'll need transportation in an evacuation, dial 2-1-1 today to register for help.

The woman is shown with the older man's arm over her shoulder.

Woman: Most of all, have a support system you can count on now for when you need it. Because we're better ...

Older man: ... together.

Elderly woman and her helper: Together.

Visually impaired man: Together.

Visually impaired man's helper: Against the Weather.

Credits: Together Against the Weather Logo.

Credits: Houston-Galveston Area Council Logo.

Credits: Houston Transtar Logo.

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

End of film.