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Preparing for Fires and Other Emergencies

Presenters: Chris Lacy, Autism ALERT, Inc. Lisa Braxton, National Fire Protection Association

Chris Lacey, BSME, MSBME Founder of

Who Am I?

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

What Are Your Concerns?

What are your biggest safety concerns?

Persons with autism are 7 times more likely to encounter law enforcement.

Medical ID Jewelry

Ingenuity is bred of necessity and determination.

Special ID Cards

Ingenuity is bred of necessity and determination.

Info Sheets
• The basics

• People in the know
• Communication abilities • Medical and drug concerns

• Sensory issues
• Approach / de-escalation techniques • Atypical responses • Odd behaviors • Date last updated

Car / Home Decals
Alert first responders in case you can not!

Family Picture
• Child having a meltdown
• Lost child / family member

Photos can speak when we can not.

Caregiver’s Guide
• Instruction manual for your child • Teach siblings too! • Don’t forget relatives / babysitters / other caretakers

Life is all about the details.

Refrigerator Safety Pack
Large envelope on refrigerator: EMERGENCY

– – – –

Info sheets Family picture Nearby water sources Blueprint of home (incl.
security/lock info)

– Phone list – Instruction sheets

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.

In an emergency…
• Emergency Suitcase
– What will you pack?

• Calling 911
– Be specific!

• Call ahead
– Let the ED know you are coming
Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.

What are you most

likely to have near or
with you at all times?

Never overlook the obvious.

ICE = In Case of Emergency
List persons familiar with the individual with autism

Tracking Devices
• GPS • Perimeter / vicinity alarms • Child locators

• Project Lifesaver, Caretrak, EmFinders

Let us hope it never happens but be ready if it does.

Search and Rescue
• Do a rapid search

• Have info sheets available

• Post persons at key places (i.e., WATER)
• Do NOT set up the command center near child’s residence
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in autistic individuals.

Search and Rescue
• Bring out the dogs
– A word about “scent items”

• Be creative!
– Toys/objects, food, movies, songs

Nobody misses the elephant in the room; it’s the mouse we forget to look for.

Away From Home
• Visit or alert local police department • Perimeter alarm system • Consider temporary tattoos • Carry important paperwork and numbers • Raise awareness and tolerance

Understanding breeds acceptance.

Safety TO-DO List
• ID • Info sheet • Home and vehicle occupant alerts • Refrigerator safety packet w/instruction sheets

• Emergency suitcase
• Home blueprint and nearby water sources • Search and rescue plan • Setup a meeting with your first responders
Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

Interacting with First Responders

Reach out Educate Anticipate Direct the interaction You have skills; use them

Be the person who has no regrets: be READY.

For More Information:
• Training for First Responders and Caregivers:

• Information on Autism Safety:

What Are Your Concerns?


Persons with autism are 7 times more likely to encounter law enforcement.

A lack of words…


Does not mean a lack of thought.


Fire and Life Safety Tips for People with Autism and their Families

Lisa Braxton Associate Project Manager National Fire Protection Association Public Education Division


 Founded in

1896  Headquarters in Quincy, MA  More than 70,000 members

 To

reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

 To

eliminate fire deaths and injuries through effective public education programs and information.
ensure that strategies are included to reach those at highest risk, including young children, older adults, and people with disabilities.

 To

Materials from today’s webinar: The PowerPoint and recording will be sent to all participants. Email Phuong ( ) if you experience any issues. Website:
Information & Referral Call Center: 1-855-828-8476 Next Webinar: Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 2:00-3:30PM, EDT Transportation Options and Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities