With temperatures dropping and snowflakes beginning to fall, the Lexington Division of Emergency Management (DEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) say that now is the time for the elderly and those with physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities to take a few easy steps to prepare for emergencies.
Officials urge seniors and people with disabilities to:
■ Make prior arrangements with your physician or check with your oxygen supplier about emergency plans for those on respirators or other electric-powered medical equipment.
■ Have electrical backup for medical equipment.
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■ Develop a backup communications plan in case land lines are disrupted by having a charged cell phone or a pager.
■ Maintain a two-week supply of medications, both prescription and non-prescription.
■ Have copies of medical records, prescriptions and medical needs readily available.
■ Plan for accessible transportation to be available in case of evacuation.
■ Have contact lenses, extra eyeglasses and batteries for hearing aids ready to go.
■ Include your service animals and pets in your plans.
■ Think ahead about neighborhood shelters that can accommodate the needs of seniors and the disabled.
DEM and FEMA also recommend that people with special needs develop and stay in touch with a nearby network of assistance before winter storms or record cold move in. It's important for neighbors, relatives, caregivers, friends and co-workers to be part of your care and communications circle. Never depend on one person alone.
DEM and FEMA recommend people have an emergency supply kit that includes a radio powered by battery or hand crank, flashlights, batteries, and at minimum a week's supply of food and water, adequate clothing and blankets for warmth and first aid supplies.
Finally, it's important to understand the terms of deteriorating weather and pending winter storms:
■ A winter weather advisory means that cold, ice and snow are expected.
■ A winter storm watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
■ A winter storm warning means that severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
Remember that planning ahead, assembling an emergency supply kit, staying informed and keeping those in your circle informed about you are the best ways to stay safe through the uncertain days of winter.
More information about being prepared for emergency situations is available at Lexingtonky.gov/dem. You can also register for mobile phone text message severe weather and emergency alerts at Lexingtonky.gov/lean.
Senior citizens and persons with disabilities and/or their caregivers can register with DEM to be included in a Special Needs Registry. This database is used only in case of a local emergency and will be used by local public safety officials to help assist those with special needs. The Special Needs Registry is available at Lexingtonky.gov/snregistration.
Special Olympics event features art and auction
Special Olympics Kentucky, The Mall at Lexington Green and companies throughout Central Kentucky are showcasing the talents of people with intellectual disabilities with A Special Season: Art Show and Auction for Special Olympics Kentucky. The event runs through Thursday at The Mall at Lexington Green.
The event showcases artwork by Special Olympics athletes and others with intellectual disabilities, and themed wreaths donated by area companies and organizations. Items will be displayed in the lower atrium at The Mall at Lexington Green through Thursday. At the same time, all items will be offered for auction at Soky.org.
Artwork includes paintings, photography, ceramics and sculptures. Most of the wreaths include additional gifts in the auction, such as gift baskets, gift certificates and Lady Gaga tickets.
The auction will conclude at The Taste of Lexington Green 6-8 p.m. Thursday, also in the lower atrium at the mall. That event will include food tastings offered by many of the restaurants at the mall, including Regatta, Bar Louie, Heavenly Ham, Bronte Bistro and Cookies by Design. Tickets to the event are $20. Call 1-800-633-7403 or go to Soky.org.
Toys for Tots donations taken at tire shop
S&S Tire locations will accept donations for the Marines' Toys for Tots program through Dec. 15.
You can drop off new, unwrapped toys in collection stations at all Central Kentucky locations. Those donating get a coupon for 10 percent off any purchase of $100 or more at S&S Tire.
Special mailboxes set up for letters to Santa
Special mailboxes in two downtown parks are ready to receive mail to Santa from area youngsters.
The large, red mailboxes will be in Triangle Park and Phoenix Park. Letters to Santa can be put in the boxes any time before noon Dec. 17, and Santa will respond to those who include their names and addresses.
So be sure and include your name and address, a wish list of what you want for Christmas and any special message to Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves, Rudolph or others at the North Pole.
Some of the letters will be selected for posting at Lexingtonky.gov. All identifying information will be removed before the letters are posted.