Building a Life

A transition guide for Kansans

Things to Consider

  • Consider a written or a pictorial representation of what to do in an emergency to have available in the home
  • Program important phone numbers in their phone to assist in contacting people

Have an Emergency Plan

Teaching and planning prior to the time of need is critical in order to ensure your young adult’s safety. Fortunately, your local fire and police departments can assist you in developing a plan, whether your young adult lives in your home or their own home. They will design an escape route/plan in case of a fire or tornado. Emergency personnel may provide decals to place in visible areas of the home (e.g., bedroom window, front window) to indicate that a person with a disability lives in the home. The fire department may also offer to do an annual smoke alarm check at no charge.

Whether your young adult plans to live alone, with a roommate, or has support staff, make sure they have the ability to contact someone in an emergency. Depending on what is determined as appropriate by the support team and the individual, consider teaching the following in case of an emergency:

  • Dial 911 - teach when emergency personnel should be called
  • Fire department personnel can assist in teaching when and where calls should be made by the individual
  • Have list of numbers to call for non-life threatening circumstances 
  • Teach how to shut off main water valve if this would be an appropriate skill to learn

Being Prepared

In addition to teaching the skills needed in dealing with emergencies, also consider having items in the home to use in case of an emergency such as flashlights and first-aid kits. At a minimum, you may wish to have available for emergencies:

  • Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, non-latex gloves or a first-aid kit
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries for flashlights and other devices such as TV remotes
  • Light bulbs

Know Your Neighbors

There is one important reason to get to know the neighbor(s) who are in close proximity to your son/daughter’s home: the safety of your young adult.

Your young adult should feel comfortable going to their neighbor’s home and talking with them or, at a minimum, calling the neighbor by phone. In turn, the neighbor will get to know them, and hopefully be supportive in an emergency. Also, the neighbor will be another layer of support because they will know the daily routine of your young adult. If anything looks or feels wrong, hopefully, they can check on your son/daughter or call a designated person to share their concern. This could be a valuable and natural support for your young adult.