Emergency Preparedness for Special Need Patients

The Medical Society of New Jersey is providing emergency preparedness information for physicians who treat patients with special medical needs.  Physicians can assist their patients with special medical needs to prepare for evacuation by referring them to county based emergency medical services in advance of a disaster.  Below is a summary of resources.

Mary Goepfert, MPA, APR, CPM, External Affairs Officer, NJ Office of Emergency Management presented at the August 11, 2011, PSP Meeting and her power point Assisting People with Disabilities during Large-Scale Emergencies and Disasters is available on the MSNJ website http://www.msnj.org.  As in all situations, planning is the key for the patient and their family.

The special need patients need to have a GO KIT.  Listed below are some items that the individual needs to have ready in addition to basic supplies of water, food, flashlight, whistle or bell for alerting other to your whereabouts, batteries, basic first aid supplies and supplies for pets. Another suggestion is having their identification, medical information and personal contacts on a computer thumb drive.


  • Identification, medical insurance cards, physician contact information
  • Written medical descriptions of the disability and support needs
  • Copies of medical prescriptions
  • List of personal contacts
  • List of allergies and health history
  • Medical alert tags or bracelets
  • Extra medicine, oxygen, insulin, catheters or other medical supplies used regularly
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids
  • Batteries – for adaptive equipment
  • A light weight, collapsible wheel chair

Sign up on the NJ Register Ready website. This website collects data on special need individuals to provide information to the emergency response agencies.

Each county in the state has an office on emergency management. Please refer to the following websites for more detail information.




About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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