Emergency Management

Print this page

At Risk Populations

During an emergency, seniors and those with a disability may have special needs that must be considered when creating a household plan and emergency kit.


  • If you or a family member have difficulty moving quickly and easily, make sure your neighbors are aware and that you have someone who can check in during an emergency.
  • Develop a support network with several people who will continue to follow up with you following an emergency.

Medication & Medical Supplies

  • Keep a separate supply of at least 7 days worth of any medication or critical medical supplies.
  • If you rely on electric medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, ventilators and oxygen compressors, talk to your medical supply company about getting batteries or a generator as a back up power source.

Medical Devices that Require Electricity

  • As a home medical device user, it is important that your device works during a power outage and that you have a plan in place to ensure you know what to do. This completed booklet will help you have an established plan to obtain and organize your medical device information, take necessary actions so that you can continue to use your device, have the necessary supplies for the operation of your device, and know where to go or what to do during a power outage.

    When the power goes out, you should NOT:

    • Perform an action to the device that you are not sure of.
    • Assume your device is working correctly.
    • Leave home without your device.
    • Forget your personal emergency file.


   Think about putting together a personal emergency file. It should contain:

    • Instructions for using the medical device and all device manuals.
    • First aid kit
    • Medical records
    • Insurance cards
    • Current home care doctor’s orders
    • Plan of treatment
    • What a family member, friend or hospital should do to help me in an emergency.
    • My power of attorney (personal and medical) allowing someone to act on my behalf if I am not able to.
    • Contact information for my health care provider(s) and pharmacy.
    • Contact information for family, friends and medical transportation services.
    • Where to go before, during and after an emergency.
    • Where to go for medical supplies.


  • During an emergency, personal care attendants may not be able to make it to their patients. Make sure you have made arrangements with caregivers and/or are familiar with your personal care agencies emergency policy.
  • If you have a service animal, make sure that it has a registered tag.

Additions to the Emergency Kit and Go Bag

  • Extra mobility aids, including a manual wheelchair
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Necessary medications and supplies
  • Special sanitary needs
  • Important medical phone numbers
  • Food that meets specialized dietary needs
  • Make a list of your medications, medical conditions, insurance information, allergies, and have your insurance cards available. Keep one copy with you at all times, and give the other copy to someone else for safekeeping.

Contact Us

Polk County Emergency Management
1907 Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 286-2107

Email Emergency Management