Washington, DCApril 2018

ATTN: Prepararse para el huracán Irma #Autismo #ASDPlan

Consiga un #ASDPlan
No tenga miedo!
Preparese!

La recuperación después de un desastre natural es sumamente difícil para cualquier persona incluyendo a nuestras familias viviendo con autismo. Queremos que su familia esté preparada con anticipación y no ser sorprendidos. No se asuste pero actúe inteligentemente. A continuación le presentamos algunos consejos prácticos sobre cómo prepararse para la tormenta sin pánico.

1. SALGA! Es mejor evacuar a un hotel fuera de la zona de huracanes que estar en su casa. Planifique salir fuera de la trayectoria de la tormenta. No se deje engañar si la tormenta disminuye en intensidad después de pasar sobre las islas. Puede intensificarse y crecer rápidamente dado el caso a que las temperaturas del mar estén más altas. Asegúrese de dejar espacio de 24 horas para evacuar en caso de que el tráfico este complicado.

2. SI VAS A UN REFUGIO! Notifique a los funcionarios de vivienda que necesita un área silenciosa. Una vez en el refugio pida hablar con la persona a cargo para que usted sea el portavoz de su familia según su necesidad. Estamos trabajando con la Cruz Roja en esto, pero los cambios son lentos. Ellos tendrán a alguien asignado para la representar a las familias con necesidades especiales. Si estás registrado con nosotros, podremos obtener su información a ellos.

3. ¡OTRAS FAMILIAS DE AUTISMO EN SU ÁREA! Sea el guardián de su hermano. Favor de darle “me gusta” a nuestra página “Unlocking Autism United States” en Facebook. Favor de difundir la información en los medios sociales, animarlos a pre-inscribirse y llamarlos para asegurarse de que hagan planes al respecto.

4. ¡PRE-INSCRIBIRSE! Usted puede pre-registrarse con “Unlocking Autism” #ASDPlan para el huracán Irma aqui: blog.thepowerofonemarch.org/asdplan-pre-registration/
Esto nos permitirá comprobar como usted esta después de la tormenta. Si su hogar está en la zona del desastre también puede pre-inscribirse con FEMA: www.disasterassistance.gov/ . Asegúrese de incluir su teléfono celular y correo electrónico. Los teléfonos celulares pueden ser la única manera en que podamos contactarlo después del evento a través de mensajes de texto.

5. ¡LLAME A SU COMPAÑÍA DE HIPOTECA! Llame a su compañía hipotecaria para asegurar que su póliza de seguro este intacta o activa. Solicite consejos sobre cómo manejar la situación durante el paso de la tormenta. Cuando pasa una tormenta ellos podrían ofrecerle el aplazar los pagos hipotecarios durante varios meses.

6. ¡RESERVACION DE HOTEL! Reserva en un hotel que tenga una micro-cocina a su alcance para que así pueda almacenar los alimentos y preparar comidas especiales de su niño especialmente si tienen una dieta restringida o comen sólo ciertos alimentos. Mientras más lejos estén de la tormenta mejor – no sólo en el interior de la misma pero fuera de su trayectoria. Si su hogar está en la zona del desastre, FEMA puede pagar las cuentas así que es mejor asegurarse ahora!

7. ¡APOYOS NATURALES! Si tienes familia o amigos que podrían ir a quedarse o que Usted pudiera quedarse con ellos para estar fuera de peligro, llamarlos ahora y pedirles si pueden evacuar a sus hogares. Darle tiempo para prepararse para su llegada. El Huracán de Irma es todavía impredecible por lo que estamos alentando a las familias que viven con autismo a prepararse debidamente.

8. ¡GAS! Llenar sus vehículos de gas antes de que las líneas se pongan largas por la espera. Si usted tiene más de un vehículo y está en una zona de inundación evacue con esos vehículos.

9. ¡EMPAQUE! Asegúrese de tener estas cosas empacadas y listas para usar:

a) ROPA: todos los elementos esenciales que necesita hasta 3 semanas con respecto a la ropa. Empaque algo de detergente para que así pueda lavar la ropa.
b) NECESIDADES DE CONTROL DE ESFINTERES: Pañales y toallitas, si es necesario.
c) COMIDA: Alimentos especiales de su niño que son fáciles de preparar. Suministros para su familia. Si tienes espacio, traer un microondas con usted en caso de que el hotel no tenga uno y una nevera para el hielo.
d) AGUA: Agua embotellada
e) DOCUMENTOS: certificados de nacimiento, tarjetas de seguridad social, papeles del seguro del hogar, IEP’s y registros médicos según sea necesario. Si usted guarda cosas en una caja de seguridad social, vaya a conseguirlos. Pasaportes, etc. Empaque cualquier evaluación de su hijo. Esto permitirá una transición sin problemas en un sistema escolar si usted es incapaz de volver a casa. Aquí esta una página para aprender sobre sus derechos si usted debe inscribir a su hijo en otro lugar: www.copaa.org/general/custom.asp?page=DisplacedHomeless
f) MEDICINA: Llame ahora a sus médicos y solicite una nueva receta si es posible y asegúrese de que su receta se encuentre en una farmacia donde usted pueda buscar desde cualquier ciudad donde usted vaya a ser evacuado. Si su hijo tiene urgencia médica adicional, investigue a donde tendría que dirigirse o pregúntele a sus médicos a donde lo podría referir.
g) ARTÍCULOS ESPECIALES: Asegúrese de traer cualquier artículo que su niño/persona con autismo que necesita para permanecer tranquilo en un ambiente nuevo, incluyendo sus aparatos electrónicos, tarjetas de PECs, mantas con peso, etc. Si vas a estar en un refugio, traiga también los auriculares o audífonos que cancelen sonidos o ruidos.

h) MASCOTAS: Si usted tiene animales domésticos, haga planes para llevarlos. Traiga sus jaulas si es necesario para quedarse con los demás o para hoteles. Empaque alimentos para ellos también.
i) MEMORABLIA: Traiga objetos especiales que desea tener con usted – fotos, álbumes, proyectos de arte para niños, herencias o cualquier artículo especial que desee guardar.
j) DINERO EN EFECTIVO: Las zonas de desastre regresarán a una economía de efectivo después de un desastre natural porque la electricidad no funcionará durante semanas. Saque dinero de su Banco para que pueda mantener el mismo con usted.
k) RUTA DE EVACUACION: Trate de encontrar una ruta que puede tomar que lo mantenga fuera de las carreteras interestatales. La mayoría de las personas intentará evacuar por la interestatal. Las carreteras más pequeñas pueden llegar a donde tiene que ir más rápido.

10. PREPARAR SU HOGAR! Tenga su casa preparada siguiendo estos planes básicos:

a) ASEGURE SU CASA: Cubra puertas y ventanas según sea necesario. Ir a buscar madera contrachapada ahora. Pedir ayuda si la necesita porque todo el mundo estará preparando sus propios hogares.
b) ASEGURE SU JARDIN: Remover cosas de tu patio que puedan convertirse en proyectiles y ponerlos dentro de tu casa o almacén.
c) ASEGURE ARTICULOS PARA EL HOGAR: Mover cosas a un piso superior o ático si usted estará en una zona de inundación. También puede colocar los artículos en cosas impermeables en depósitos de plástico, bolsas de basura o Ziplocs.
d) SACOS DE ARENA: Pida ayuda si es necesario a algún vecino y colocar los sacos de arena alrededor de sus puertas y áreas bajas de la ventana.
e) VERIFIQUE LA ELEVACION DE SU HOGAR AQUÍ: Preste atención a los pronósticos de la oleada de la tormenta y las zonas de inundación. Usted necesita saber qué nivel de riesgo enfrenta con la tormenta y las inundaciones proyectadas. Este enlace le permitirá saber su elevación: www.whatismyelevation.com/
f) AGUA: Conseguir varias cajas de agua embotellada que pueda utilizar hasta que regrese a su casa. Al menos para 3 semanas.
g) COMIDA: Compre alimentos enlatados que pueda utilizar cuando vuelva a casa que sean fáciles de calentar y preparar.
h) PARRILLA Y CARBON: Asegúrese de almacenar la parrilla y el carbón para la preparación de la comida después de la tormenta durante la recuperación.
i) REFRIGERADORES/CONGELADORES: Deseche los artículos perecederos que no se puedan utilizar antes de la tormenta. Trate de cocinar lo que pueda ahora por adelantado antes de la tormenta. Antes de irse ponga toda la comida en su refrigerados y congelador en bolsas de basura. Si pierdes la electricidad y no llegas a casa por varios días o una semana o más, la nariz te lo agradecerá. Sera más fácil agarrar las bolsas y tirarlas afuera y salvaras a tu nevera de la formación de moho y humedad.
j) TOME FOTOS: Tome fotos de todos los ángulos de cada habitación en su casa y envíelo por correo electrónico a usted mismo. Esto le permitirá hacer un inventario de lo que tienes para que usted pueda ser reembolsado después del evento a través de su compañía de seguros y así pueda demostrar la condición previa de su hogar.
k) RECUPERACIÓN DE ARTICULOS: Almacene máscaras, spray para el moho, cloro, esponjas, trapos, martillos y palancas de derribo para demoler más rápido, cubos, suministros de limpieza y bolsas de basura.
l) CONTACTOS DE EMERGENCIA: Asegúrese de escribir los contactos de emergencia en caso de que la batería de su teléfono se muera. Así podrá usar una línea de teléfono fija para dejar saber a las personas donde usted está y lo que usted necesita.

11. TAN PRONTO FINALIZE EL EVENTO:

a) VUELVA A SU CASA CUANDO ESTE SEGURA: Las carreteras o caminos pueden estar cerrados por algún tiempo. Este preparado para alojarse durante al menos 10 días ya que líneas eléctricas podrían estar en el piso lo que sería un gran riesgo para usted y su familia.
b) VERIFIQUE EL TECHO: Aunque su casa se vea intacta, revise el techo. Las tejas o azulejos pueden haberse salido por los fuertes vientos lo que ocasionará que entre agua a su casa durante la lluvia. Contacte un técnico calificado para que revise su hogar. Todavía es una temporada de huracanes activa y es importante que se asegure de que el techo esté seguro.
c) VUELVA A SU CASA CON SUMINISTROS: Reponga los materiales o suministros que necesita hasta 30 días al volver a casa. Tardará un rato para que las tiendas y las farmacias vuelvan a estar en línea. Asegúrese de abastecerse de linternas, pilas, velas, líquido para encendedores (para el carbón de leña), suministros de primeros auxilios y aerosol de insecto. Los mosquitos son terribles luego de las tormentas cuando las plantas se están deshojando.
d) ANTES DE VOLVER A CASA: Si su casa estaba en el camino directo de la tormenta, notifique a su compañía de hipoteca y asegúrese de que haya registrado con FEMA. Una vez tenga electricidad puede tomar 3-6 semanas para restaurarse. Haga todo esto antes de irse. Ellos podrán ayudarlos con cosas como cupones para alimentos después de un acontecimiento así. Entienda que las trailas de FEMA no llegará a su área hasta potencialmente 8-10 semanas después de un evento adverso.
e) BUSQUE MENSAJES DE CORREO ELECTRONICO DE NOSOTROS: Nosotros enviaremos un correo electrónico después de la tormenta a las personas que están pre-registrados con nosotros que nos pedirá la ubicación de la lista e identificar si usted está seguro. Si usted está en un refugio, necesitamos nos informe en cuál de ellos se encuentra para poder notificar a la Cruz Roja.
f) SEGURIDAD ES TRABAJO #1: Leer este blog antes de volver.

Mantenerse seguro es lo más importante. Es devastador el perder su casa y sus cosas, pero mantener a su familia sana y a salvo durante estos eventos debería ser tu enfoque.

 

Florida Families – Irma #ASDPlan

Don’t be scared. Be prepared. Have an #ASDPlan!

Recovery after a huge natural disaster is difficult for anyone and that especially includes our families living with autism.  We want your family to be prepared ahead of time and not be caught off guard.  Don’t panic but just be smart. Below are some practical tips on how to prepare for the storm without panic.

  1. GET OUT! It is better to evacuate to a hotel room outside of the Hurricane Zone than to be in your home. Plan to get out of harms way.  Do not be fooled if the storm drops in intensity after passing over the islands. They can quickly grow into serious storms once they hit warm water again. Be sure to leave 24 hours room for evacuating in case traffic is bad.
  2. IF YOU GO TO A SHELTER! Let shelter officials know that you will need quiet space. Ask them when you arrive to let you speak to the person in charge. Advocate for your family. We are working with the Red Cross on this but change is slow.  They will have disability advocates on hand after the storm. If you are registered with us, we will be able to get your information to them.
  3. OTHER AUTISM FAMILIES IN YOUR AREA! Be your brother’s keeper.  Like Unlocking Autism – United States on Facebook. Spread the information on social media, encourage them to pre-register and call them to ensure they make solid plans as well. Check on your neighbors – especially elderly neighbors. Help where you can.
  4. PRE-REGISTER! You can pre- register with Unlocking Autism’s #ASDPlan here for Hurricane Irma. This will allow us to check on you after the storm. If your home is in the disaster zone then also take the time now to pre-register with FEMA. Be sure to include your cell phone and email. Cell phones may be the only way we can reach you after the event via texting.
  5. CALL YOUR MORTGAGE COMPANY! Call your mortgage company to ensure your insurance policy is in-tact. Ask their advice on how to handle and let them know you are in the path of the storm. When a storm hits they can often defer your mortgage payments for several months and help pay for
  6. HOTEL RESERVATIONS! Book now in a hotel that has a micro-kitchen available to it if possible so you can store food and prepare your child’s special meals if they have restricted diets or only eat certain foods. The farther away from the storm the better – not just inland but out of the path. If your home is in the disaster zone FEMA may pay the bills so it is better to secure it now!
  7. NATURAL SUPPORTS! If you have family or friends that you could go stay with well out of harm’s way, call them now and ask them if you can evacuate to their homes. Give them time to prepare for your arrival. Irma’s path is still unpredictable so we are encouraging families living with autism to get off of the panhandle.
  8. GAS! Gas up your vehicles now before the lines get long. If you have more than one vehicle and could be in a flood zone evacuate with those vehicles. It lets you pack more things.
  9. PACK! Make sure you have these things packed and ready to go:
    1. CLOTHING: All of the essentials you will need for up to 3 weeks with regard to clothes. Pack some detergent so you can wash clothes.
    2. TOILETING NEEEDS: Diapers and wipes, if needed.
    3. FOOD: Your child’s special foods that are easy to prepare. Supplies for your family. If you have room, bring a microwave with you in case your hotel doesn’t have one and an ice chest.
    4. WATER: Bottled water
    5. DOCUMENTS: Birth certificates, social security cards, Home insurance papers, IEPs and medical records as needed. If you keep things in a safety deposit box, go get them. Passports, etc. Pack any of your child’s evaluations. This will allow for a smooth transition into a school system if you are unable to return home. Here is a page to learn about your rights if you have to enroll your child elsewhere after.
    6. MEDICINE: Call your doctors now and ask them to give you a new prescription if possible and make sure your prescription is located at a pharmacy where it can be retrieved from whatever city you evacuate to. If your child has urgent additional medical needs, research doctors where you are headed or ask your treating physicians for referrals.
    7. SPECIAL ITEMS: Be sure to bring whatever items your child/individual with autism needs to stay calm in a new environment including your electronics, PECs cards, weighted blankets. If you are going to be in a shelter, bring noise cancelling headphones as well.
    8. PETS: If you have pets, make plans to bring them. Go get cages if needed to stay with others or for hotels. Pack food for them as well.
    9. MEMORABLIA: Bring special items that you want to have with you – photos, scrapbooks, children’s art projects, heirlooms, any special item that you would want to save.
    10. CASH: Disaster zones will revert to a cash economy following a natural disaster because electricity may be out for weeks. Take money out of the bank that you can keep with you.
    11. EVACUATION ROUTE: Try to find a route that you can take that keeps you off of Interstates. Most people will try to evacuate by Interstate. Smaller highways might get you where you need to go faster.
  10. PREPARE YOUR HOME! Get your house read by following these basic plans:
    1. SECURE YOUR HOME: Board up windows and doors as needed. Go get plywood now. Ask for help if you need it because everyone will be busy preparing their own homes. Before you leave shut of your breakers for electricity and turn off gas.
    2. SECURE YOUR YARD: Remove things from your yard that can become projectiles and put them inside your house or storeroom.
    3. SECURE HOUSEHOLD ITEMS: Move things to a higher floor or the attic if you will be in a flood zone. Waterproof things in plastic storage bins, Garbage bags or Ziplocs.
    4. SANDBAGS: Ask for help if you need help with this from a neighbor but use sandbags around your doors and low window areas. Pay attention to storm surge forecasts and flood zones.
    5. CHECK YOUR HOME’s ELEVATION HERE: You need to know what level of risk you face with storm flooding projections. This link will let you know your elevation.
    6. WATER: Get several cases of bottled water that you can use upon return to the home. Enough for 3 weeks. You can also make big ice in your freezers now to keep things cool. Be sure to clean your bathtubs and fill them with water so you have that to clean and flush toilets.
    7. FOOD: Stock up on canned food that you can use when you return home that is easy to heat and prepare. Put it on a higher floor in plastic containers. Don’t pack perishable items if possible
    8. GRILL and CHARCOAL: Make sure you have a grill and charcoal stashed for meal preparation after the storm during recovery. Go to the Dollar Tree and buy sterno. It is your friend.
    9. REFRIGERATORS/FREEZERS: Throw away the perishable items you can’t use before the storm. Try to cook what you can now ahead of the storm. Right before you leave put all food items in the fridge and freezer in garbage bags. If you lose electricity and can’t get home for several days or a week or more, your nose will thank us.  It makes it easier to grab inside and pull it out and saves your fridge from molding over.
    10. TAKE PICTURES: Take pictures of every angle of every room in your home and email them to yourself. This will allow you to take an inventory of what you have so that you can be reimbursed after the event through your insurance company and demonstrate the prior condition of your home.
    11. RECOVERY ITEMS: Store masks, mold spray, a spray container, bleach, sponges, rags, hammers and crowbars for faster demolition, mops, buckets, cleaning supplies and garbage bags.
    12. EMERGENCY CONTACTS: Be sure to write these down in case your phone battery dies. You can then use a landline to let people know where you are and what you need.
  11. FOLLOWING THE EVENT:
    1. RETURN ONLY WHEN SAFE: Roads may be closed for some time following storms this big so be ready to stay put for at least 10 days. Electrical lines will be down increasing hazards.
    2. CHECK THE ROOF: Even if your home seems in-tact, check the roof. Tiles can come off in strong winds that you might not notice and lead to leaking in the future during the rainy seasons in later fall. Have a qualified person check your home. It is still an active hurricane season so making sure your roof is secure will be important.
    3. RETURN HOME WITH SUPPLIES: Replenish supplies you will need for up to 30 days upon return home. It takes a while for grocery stores, pharmacies to come back online.  Be sure to stock up on flashlights, batteries, candles, lighter fluid (for the charcoal), first aid supplies and bug spray. Mosquitos are terrible after storms like this when plants are defoliated.
    4. BEFORE YOU RETURN HOME: If your home was in the direct path of the storm, notify your mortgage company and be sure you did register with FEMA. Once you get home electricity may take 3-6 weeks to be restored. Do these things before you leave. They can assist with things like food stamps following a major event as well.  Understand that FEMA trailers will not arrive in your area until potentially 8-10 weeks following an adverse event.
    5. WATCH FOR EMAILS FROM US: We will send out an email after the storm to individuals who are pre-registered with us that will ask you to list your current location and identify if you are safe. If you are in a shelter, we will need you to self-identify what shelter you are located in so that we can notify our Red Cross friends.
    6. SAFETY IS JOB #1: Read this blog before you return.

Staying safe is the most important thing. It is devastating to lose your homes and your things but keeping your family safe and sound during these events should be your focus.

We love you and our team is praying for everyone.

Pay attention. Stay alert.  Have an #ASDPlan.

 

SAFETY IS JOB #1 FOR AUTISM COMMUNITY IN TX/LA #ASDPlan

To Members of the Autism Community in Texas/Louisiana Impacted by Harvey:

SAFETY IS JOB #1: This is an active event. Dangerous flooding is still possible and water may rise through early next week. Pay attention to river crest levels and check to ensure your family is at an elevation above those levels. You can find your current sea level elevation here. Residents will continue to see extensive rainfall. Safety is Job #1 for you and your families.  Do your best to get into a safe, quiet place as quickly as possible. If you do not have natural supports where you can evacuate to be with family or friends, get into a hotel room as quickly as possible.
Please be alert and guard against distraction.  Wandering and elopement are especially dangerous in our community right now due to high flood waters.
Emergency officials and Unlocking Autism volunteers will triage individuals in this order SAFETY, SHELTER, FOOD/WATER, CLOTHING, MEDICINE (unless it is life sustaining medication).

Please continue to register families of kids with ASD hereWe have people on standby that can help them and counsel with them and pray with them and help them calm down.  Other moms who know what this is like.

ONCE YOU HAVE DETERMINED YOU ARE AT A SAFE ELEVATION IN A SECURE SHELTER, BE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED WITH FEMA/DISASTER ASSISTANCE BELOW: 

Critical Needs Assessment:  FEMA may provide financial assistance to individuals and households who, as a result of the disaster, have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are life-saving and life-sustaining items including, but not limited to: water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items, and fuel for transportation. Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) is awarded under the Other Needs Assistance provision of the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and is subject to a state cost share. It is a one-time $500 payment per household. The State must request that FEMA authorize CNA in a disaster for specific geographic areas that are expected to be inaccessible for an extended period of time (i.e., seven days or longer). The eligibility period for CNA corresponds to the standard registration period for IHP, which is 60 days from the date of the Presidential disaster declaration.

Individuals and households may be eligible for CNA if all of the following have been met:

  • A registration is completed with FEMA;
  • The applicant passes identity verification;
  • At registration, the applicant asserts that they have critical needs and requests financialassistance for those needs and expenses;
  • Their pre-disaster primary residence is located in a county that is designated for CNA; an
  • The applicant is displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster.

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Transitional Shelter Assistance:  FEMA may provide Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) to applicants who are unable to return to their pre-disaster primary residence because their home is either unihabitaable or inaccessible due to a Presidentially-declared disaster. TSA is intended to reduce the number of disaster survivors in congregate shelters by transitioning survivors into short-term accomodations through direct payments to lodging providers. TSA does not count toward an applicant’s maximum amount of assistance available under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP).

TSA is funded under Section 403 of the Stafford Act and is subject to a state cost-share. The State may request that FEMA authorize the use of TSA for the declared disaster in specific geographic areas.

The affected state, territorial, or tribal government may request TSA. This form of assistance may be considered when the scale and projected duration of the declared incident results in an extended displacement of disaster survivors. The state, territorial, or tribal government, in coordination with FEMA, identifies areas that are inaccessible or that incurred damage which prevents disaster survivors from returning to their pre-disaster primary residence for an extended period of time.

Under TSA, disaster survivors may be eligible to stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time and have the cost of the room and taxes covered by FEMA. For those who are eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund, through direct payments to participating hotels/ motels, the use of hotels/motels as transitional shelters.  The applicant is responsible for all other costs associated with lodging and amenities, including, but not limted to  incidental room charges or amenities, such as telephone, room service, food, etc.

The initial period of assistance will be 5-14 (adjustable to 30 days, if needed) days from date of TSA implementation. FEMA, in conjunction with the state, territorial, or tribal government, may extend this period of assistance, if needed,  in 14-day intervals for up to six months from the date of disaster declaration.

Individuals and households who are not eligible for TSA will be referred to local agencies or voluntary organizations for possible assistance.

Individuals and households may be eligible for TSA, if:

  • Register with FEMA for assistance
  • Pass identity and citizenship verification
  • Their pre-disaster primary residence is located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA
  • As a result of the disaster, they are displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence
  • They are unable to obtain lodging through another source

FEMA provides eligible applicants access to a list of approved hotels in their area, and applicants may choose to stay at any approved hotel or facility identified by FEMA. The list of approved hotels is available at http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php or the FEMA Helpline. FEMA provides applicants with access and functional needs additional assistance in locating approved hotels to meet their needs.

FEMA bases the amount of TSA on the maximum lodging rate plus taxes for the locality, as identified by the General Services Administration (GSA).

Extending TSA

When FEMA extends TSA eligible applicants are allowed to remain in transitional sheltering through the end of the extended interval if they are otherwise eligible for IHP Assistance, or both

of the following apply:

  • FEMA is currently considering the applicant’s eligibility for Temporary Housing Assistance or is waiting for documentation from the applicant needed to consider eligibility
  • They meet other conditions of eligibility established by FEMA and the coordinating state, territorial, or tribal government

Ending TSA

  • If an applicant who is receiving TSA is approved for Rental Assistance, their TSA-eligibility will terminate at the end of the 14-day interval.
  • Applicants who are not eligible for IHP Assistance may only remain in transitional sheltering until their TSA interval expires.

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FEMA Shares Hurricane Harvey Resources for Texas Survivors, Volunteers:

LIFE SAFETY:

HARRIS COUNTY specific:

o    http://www.readyharris.org/News-Information/Ready-Harris-News/Post/26641

GENERAL INFORMATION:

FEMA Registration: 800-621-3362/TTY: 800-462-7585www.DisasterAssistance.gov

Help Hurricane Harvey ASD Families

 Unlocking Autism is calling on all levels of political leadership and our community to assist with families and individuals with autism impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the floods.  Since Hurricane Katrina hit twelve years ago, we have worked to help our families in the aftermath of natural disasters because this is a special population with special needs. We want to ensure our families are not turned away from shelters or asked to leave as has happened in the past and left to ride out the aftermath in their cars or sheds.

The best way the community can help right now is to pass immediate recovery recommendations to political officials and to spread the word about assistance.  Unlocking Autism is collecting donations, which are tax deductible as we are a registered 501c3.  Donations collected through September 30th, 2017 will go completely to our families in need. We have no employees and no significant overhead costs.

Here is how you can help:

  1. CONTACT YOUR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP: Alert your own local political officials about the need to include special populations with regard to an #ASDPlan and ask them to do what they can to help spread the word through leadership.
  2. MAKE A DONATION: Priority right now will be to collect funds to provide families with WalMart or Amazon gift cards so they can get the items they need as fast as possible specific to the needs of their child or individual living with autism.  Those are all unique as you may imagine so this is the best thing to do at this stage of the event.  As the event continues to unfold, check back because people’s needs will change but families are scattered right now.  The time will come when we need care packages and other donations but for now this is the best way to help.  Our goal is to provide families in need with at least a $250 gift card to get started. You can make your donation here.

    If you specifically make a donation of $65.00, that will be a signal to us to order a weighted blanket for a child.  We are partnering with the same company we worked with last year to get these to comfort our community kids!

  3. FIND OUR FAMILIES: Check on families that you know in Texas and Louisiana that are in the path of the storm.  Have them register with us. We have volunteers on standby to call them and assess their need. They can register easily here.

  4. STAND READY: What we learned here in Baton Rouge last year is that there is a whole country and community of people to love one another.  Last year was clearly a dress rehearsal for this event this year.  Pray for our people. We know God tells us that He will be with us when, not if, the water comes up to our neck.  Pray for their protection and safety. Pray for their swift recovery and provision.  Stay alert for notices as they come and move when you see them.

We are a family.  We fight and we fuss and we are all stressed but our families in Texas and Louisiana need us to be there for them now.  Working together as one – in one body – we will be able to accomplish so much and be a huge blessing to families who need us today…and in the future.

All of our love,

Together we are all Unlocking Autism

#ASDPLAN – RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HURRICANE HARVEY

 

Serving the Autism Community during an adverse weather event and in recovery has problems that can be easily solved but would require collaborative partnerships with both government agencies and NGOs.  To address some immediate concerns as Hurricane Harvey bears down, below are steps that could be achieved quickly ahead of this storm.

  • PREFERRED PLACEMENT IN HOTELS: Instruct Emergency personnel including FEMA, Red Cross and temporary shelters (like churches) to help families living with autism to receive preferential treatment for placement in hotel rooms that are safe and quiet for the impacted family member OR in quiet, secure rooms within the sheltered area. Once our families are in a quiet place where they can prevent elopement, they are often resilient enough to begin recovery. Our community will surround and support them through this. We found that families living with autism requiring sheltering assistance were often severely impacted from a socio-economic standpoint – and will be especially at the end of the month as happened with Hurricane Katrina and will not have reserves of money to pay for hotel stays.
  • PREFERRED TYPE OF HOTEL ROOM: It is helpful, if at all possible, to locate them in hotels with micro-kitchens as their children/individuals often have specific dietary requirements and providing stability in that area will further help these families maintain a semblance of peace in the aftermath to improve recovery efforts.
  • HELPFUL ITEMS FOR SHELTERS: Louisiana Dept of Child and Family Services has a stockpile of weighted blankets and noise canceling headphones. Encourage collaborative efforts between these two states to share these precious resources to help calm individuals in shelters.  Our organization is already working with the suppliers we had last year to increase production so we can help the children in Texas.
  • COLLABORATION BETWEEN RECOVERY OFFICIALS & LOCAL AUTISM COMMUNITY GROUPS: We are developing a list of groups local to each state that would be willing to help identify families and also help assist them afterwards through their special recovery process.
  • EMERGENCY RESPONSE PERSONNEL BRIEFING: Rescue and recovery officials should be briefed on this specific population and their potential behaviors. When possible, allow family members to assist with evacuating these individuals from homes/cars because they know how to best motivate them, help them feel safe and communicate effectively.
  • SPECIAL HAZARDS FOR THIS POPULATION: Officials should be aware that children and individuals with autism are drawn to water, which almost always leads to drowning deaths. Families, shelter officials and emergency responders should be alert for elopement as distraction from the individual’s caregiver is imminent.  Individuals with autism also often do not respond to verbal commands or to their names being called and can be aggressive.  Being prepared for this ahead of time will help emergency responders work more quickly.

Thank you for taking care of our special families!  

President Trump – About Disasters & Autism

August 28, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

RE: Hurricane Harvey & the Autism Community

Dear President Trump:

We thank you all for what you do every day to help run our country. We know it is a huge job and people don’t often return with thanks. We are grateful that you listen to your people beyond the beltway.

Last year, when you came to Louisiana to survey damage from our historic flooding here in Baton Rouge, I met you at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church. I spoke with Vice President Pence for several minutes to discuss our very specific concerns regarding the unique disaster rescue and recovery needs of our special needs populations – whether they are children or adults with autism or individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Louisiana’s Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser was with you that day and has come to know us as well.

     

Our families living with autism were repeatedly turned away, or ejected, from shelters due to adverse behaviors exhibited by their children. One of the largest shelters told me personally, “We do not take people like that.” They were living in cars and sheds because it was more manageable than trying to care for their children living with autism in a large congregational setting. This put the children directly in harm’s way but alternatives were scarce.

Unlocking Autism stepped out in faith, raised money, found our families, and helped them find stabilized shelter. Then, we cared for them until they were back on their feet. We learned valuable lessons that your administration may need in the recovery efforts. Here is a video to explain our families stories.

I appeal to you to help provide our autism community in Texas with top down direction for simple steps that will improve their recovery efforts. The need is massive. Each Congressional district impacted could have as many as 3200 children under the age of 21 with autism, which leaves a huge number of our people, at least 64,000 families, in an even more difficult situation.

This may 15 times what we witnessed with our families in South Louisiana. Our organization will not be able to handle it alone, but we stand ready to help hold their hands.

Congregational shelters, whether open to anyone or segregated for special medical needs, are incredibly difficult for our specific population to navigate. Families already suffering from PTSD stress levels and no sleep are further traumatized at times like this making wandering and other adverse behaviors worse and more dangerous. No one likes congregational shelters, but they are overwhelmingly difficult for our families and for other shelter residents.

This is a problem that can be easily solved, but requires a partnership with leadership and groups familiar with this unique circumstance. Enclosed are some suggested steps that could be taken, and if these can be achieved, our group will make every effort to disseminate appropriate information to TX and LA residents, and collaborating autism NGOs, to help with the recovery process.

On Friday, August 25th, this information was sent to the Texas Congressional delegation, the Governor of Texas, the Louisiana Secretary of Department of Child & Family Services (who helped us so much last year) and my Congressman – Congressman Garret Graves (LA-6) – to try to get ahead of the storm. Last year, Congressman Graves and his wife came to my house to learn more about how we were helping our special families. He invited me to attend a dinner with several Congressmen, including Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36) – whose district is now impacted by Harvey – so that everyone could learn of our experiences and no community would forget the least of these when, not if, this happened again.

Last year was apparently a dress rehearsal.

We will always encourage our families to seek shelter with other family members or friends first wherever natural support are available. This request is specifically designed for those families who have no other alternatives and we can help shelters establish screening protocols to prevent people who would have other resources available to them from taking advantage of a hotel stay that another family would need.

Unlocking Autism has worked with hundreds of families across the country living with autism over the last 12 years through the rescue/recovery process following natural disasters since Hurricane Katrina sounded the alarm for us. Our immediate hope, and primary concern, is to help our families get out of harm’s way so they don’t have to live in their vehicles or sheds in their backyard until their homes can be repaired like our families had to do here last year.

Here are some things the government can do to help our families living with autism – quickly.

I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. While we didn’t know when we met you and Vice President Pence last year that this storm would bear down on our country, God did. He prepared us for such a time as this. Bad things happen in this broken world, but He positions people to be able to safeguard against them and take care of His children.

Please do not let our people with autism fall through the cracks of recovery efforts. He has given us an opportunity to learn from the mistakes on such a wide scale way that it hopefully this become part of the permanent protocol. With one in 68 children diagnosed, it must be.

God has also given our country the opportunity to truly be our brother’s keeper. Apathy is as bad as hate and it is hard to understand this level of devastation without experiencing it personally. Racial division and socio-economic disparity dissolve in flood waters which equalize everything and everyone. Help this country hold onto the love and compassion they feel right now and turn in repentance to both God and their fellow man.

Thank you for your consideration and for everything you do every day to lead us and protect us.

We stand ready.

With kindest regards,

Shelley Hendrix
Unlocking Autism/President

A Silent Stand

Be still

What if we could cause a shift in public policy this April by just remaining still? Sounds counter intuitive during a month full of bustling activity and autism awareness conversations, right?

April 2017 may have a unique opportunity where the mountains we face on a daily basis could fall.

What if members of our community that choose to stand in the gap for everyone would just be still and quiet themselves for three days? How might something so small change our circumstances from a public policy perspective?

Before we go any further, we know what you are thinking, “Be quiet? Are you kidding? It’s IEP season, Spring Break, Prom Season! Our home is never quiet if anyone is awake because we are busy people!”

But we don’t mean silence: we mean quieting your soul for just three days while you examine your heart, pray fervently and ask God to hear you.

Between noon on April 8th and noon on April 11th , Unlocking Autism is calling for God’s people in our community to be still. During this unique period of time connecting Palm Sunday, Passover and the fast of Esther, the windows of heaven are wide open. Each one of these stories demonstrate a common theme of God moving His people from personal reflection to hearts of obedience toward hope, freedom and redemption.

Let’s focus on the story of Queen Esther, who upon finding out that the Jews were to be annihilated by a decree of the King, called for her people to fast and pray for three days before she approached him to ask him to change his policy and save her people. She was really nervous about this request because it could easily have resulted in her death. So she asked her community to ask God for help first. She didn’t jump on this opportunity at first and gave her Uncle Mordecai some very seemingly valid excuses to be quiet and stay in her chambers.

Mordecai’s response to her was very stern in Esther 4:13-14:

“Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Mordecai points out this very specific moment in time was critical for the whole community and Queen Esther was perfectly positioned to change history. But Mordecai warns her, if she chooses to remain silent that God will find another willing person to bring relief and deliverance. He does this because when a person in position of authority does this, they bear the brunt of the outcome due to their failure to address the issue.

The particular word for silent in this passage does not mean to not talk, it means not to listen. It means you heard to the issue but gave tacit approval for it to continue by not listening to it and then speaking up. It has the same kind of meaning as someone who sticks their fingers in their ears during an argument and says, “LA LA LA LA LA LA I am not listening to you.

For nearly two decades, Unlocking Autism has watched lawmakers, policy changers and even leaders and community members hear what is being said but not really listening to them.

But we know these things to be true:

There is no authority except from God, those that exist, have been instituted by God and the king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

In 2 Chronicles 7:13-15, God even gives us a clear recipe on how to change our circumstances: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.”

The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy but God will restore what the “locusts” have taken from us and requires the thief to pay back seven times what he has stolen, even if it costs him everything. Our enemy does that in several ways: by destroying our peace, our hope, our love for each other, our unity, our faith, and the truth. He chips away at it until we are worn out, weary, broken and fighting everything.

And it is up to us to choose which voice to listen to: the voice whispering lies, death and destruction or the small still voice that brings truth, hope and life.

Fasting gives us an opportunity to humble ourselves before God while asking forgiveness for our wrongs then presenting our requests to Him with clean hearts and pure hands. When we are still, does God fight for us – but our souls must be quiet to listen to what He has to say.

176 children are diagnosed with autism every single day in the United States alone. During the month of April, we will add 5,280 new families living with autism to our growing community. One moment of silence for each of these new additions would take 88 hours – which oddly enough is a little over 3 days.

We know it will be difficult for everyone to be completely quiet but here are ways you can participate – pick one that you can commit to:

  • Carve out quiet space during these three days to read God’s word and pray.
  • Don’t use social media, your phone or return emails (except for emergencies).
  • Keep the television and electronics to a minimum.
  • Don’t watch the news.

When you find that quiet space and peace, wherever it shows up during the day, pray.

  • When you pray, pray in faith – even if you only have faith the size of a mustard seed.
  • Pray that God will move our mountains collectively as a community, and move the individual mountains your family faces.
  • Pray for restoration.
  • Pray for healing in our community and our nation – spiritually and physically.
  • Pray for God to move the hearts of our leaders at all levels to come into alignment with His will.
  • PRAY BIG.

God tells us to be still and know that He is God. The word for still in this passage means abandoned, alone, helpless, collapsed, discouraged, dropped, a failure, feeble, forsaken, fallen, lazy, afraid, relaxed, waiting, slack and lifeless. We can be a total mess, give it to Him and He is still God. He is able to fix our situation then give us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and praise for despair.

We have hope that our stillness before God will be heard, that He will help our leaders to speak and not remain silent. We believe that our hope will not be put to shame. God’s ways are not our ways and sometimes we have to do something different to bring the accelerated change we need.

Being still and praying for the next couple of days won’t hurt – and could change everything.

 

Helping the Sanders Family #peoplelikethat

Delasbar Sanders flood

Meet the Sanders family and their beautiful daughter, Amoree.

Early in the morning on August 14, 2016 their apartment was flooded by the Amite River that had crested far above its normal banks and was now raging through their neighborhood.  What is normally a 50 ft wide and 15 foot deep river became 10 miles wide and 46 feet deep.

Her father was trying to evacuate wading through floodwaters with Amoree on his shoulders, but the current was too hard and Amoree came loose!

As her terrified parents watched, Amoree was swept away by the current but suddenly popped back up and began to swim!  Delasbar has been taking her to the Terrific Turtles Swimming Program at the YMCA and said that Amoree has been glued to the television, especially focused on watching Olympian Michael Phelps swim.  Delasbar said that every time Phelps was on tv, Amoree would come running into the living room to watch him.

Those lessons and her interest in swimming paid off! Amoree was able to swim back to her father just in time for the whole family to be rescued by four unnamed heroes in a boat.

The Sanders family booked a hotel room but when they arrived at the hotel it was full. The hotel allowed the family to dry off and charge their phone in the lobby and helped them find another place to stay.  They have a hotel room secured now for a week but no home to return to – everything was a total loss.

Our families know how difficult our children’s restrictive diets can be on a bright, sunny regular day.  When you are in a crisis and have no way to feed your child Tyson chicken nuggets it can be difficult.  When you are staying in a hotel room without a microwave or a refrigerator that can be nearly impossible.

Amoree is missing her Team Umizoomi DVDs and Millie Talking Doll.  She also loves Sid the Science Kid DVDs.  Let’s help her get some of the things that are most familiar to her as soon as we can – maybe someone could get Amoree something autographed by Michael Phelps!

When they stopped by this morning to pick up their emergency gift card to Walmart, Delasbar said she knew she was in the right place when she saw our Unlocking Autism license plate.  Her family has #301 and has been in the UA family longer than we knew! It is a difficult way to meet each other but we are working together now to build a brighter future.  Their car below was lost in the flood. Water rose until it was 1″ from the top of the vehicle.

Delasbar Sanders license plate UA

The Sanders family has lost all of their clothing and would appreciate donations.  If you box them and send them to Shelley Hendrix, Unlocking Autism, PO Box 41312, Baton Rouge, LA 70835 and write SANDERS FAMILY on the box, we will make sure they get them.

Amoree – Girls sizes 16 & 18 and shoes 4.5 to 5

Delasbar – Women’s 28 and shoe 11

Warren – 3X and 12 shoe

All donations made to Unlocking Autism via The Power of One right now are going to help Louisiana Flood Victims. You can make your tax deductible donation to Unlocking Autism and we will continue to provide gift cards to our families so they can get the items that will help their families personally rebuild.  If you don’t want to send monetary donations, Flood Care Packages are a huge help to our families as well.  You can find out what families need here.

Once the flood waters dry up and our families dry out, we will all be working together to ensure that an emergency plan is in place for our community – and available for other communities to adopt – so that no family is ever turned away from a shelter because they don’t take “people like this.”

With great thanks,

The Unlocking Autism Family

Care Packages Needed to Help #peoplelikethat

General Care Packages

Please help our families living with autism in South Louisiana by sending general care packages to them.  You can find Large USPS Priority Mail Boxes at your local Post Office then fill them up with goodies listed below.

Please print off this list and then check off what is included.  Include notes for our families to let them know they are loved.  We will pick up the boxes daily and give them to families in need.

Thanks for helping us and for praying for us here in South Louisiana!  We are all one big autism family!  All of us at Unlocking Autism are so grateful for your help!

ITEM INCLUDED ITEM INCLUDED
Toothbrush   Granola Bars  
Toothpaste   Protein Bars  
Floss   Pretzels  
Shampoo   Snack Crackers  
Conditioner   Diapers  
Soap   Formula  
Bandaids   Baby Wipes  
Bug Spray   Towels  
Qtips   Deodorant  
Kleenex   Neosporin  
Hand sanitizer   Hand Soap  
Bacteria Wipes   Gift Cards  
Dry Shampoo   Tampons  
Sunscreen   Sanitary napkin  
Koolaid single pks   Hairbrush  
Walmart gift card   Comb  
CVS gift card   Gold Bond Pwdr  
Hand lotion   Deck of cards  
Pens & notebooks   Flashlight/batteries  

Please send USPS Priority Mail Boxes to:
Shelley Hendrix, Unlocking Autism
PO Box 41312, Baton Rouge, LA 70835
(Label box as GENERAL CARE PACKAGE)

Helping the Johnson Family #peoplelikethat

kevira flood
Kevira Johnson’s family evacuated on Saturday, August 13th from their home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that was quickly filling up with flood water.  Her family has four children ages 16, 10, 3 and 7 weeks. Their 10 year old daughter has Angelman’s syndrome.

The house filled up with 5 feet of water and everything is a total loss.  Their sweet girl lost her pull ups, AFO braces for her feet, mechanical walker, wheelchair and medicines.

kevira flood 2

They are not in a shelter. They are not at Kevira’s mother’s home because their daughter would have to sleep on the floor.  She has a curve in her spine and would experience serious pain sleeping on the floor.  She cannot communicate pain or discomfort.

All six members of this family are living with a relative in Bogalusa, LA in a one bedroom home.

Right now, Unlocking Autism has only raised enough to give their family a $250 gift card from WalMart.  Communications are difficult with families on the move and unstable cell phone coverage. Clothing and shoe sizes for the family members are listed below and you can mail them to Unlocking Autism, PO Box 41312, Baton Rouge, LA 70835. PLEASE WRITE “FOR JOHNSON FAMILY” on your box to ensure we get it to the right family and we will deliver it as quickly as possible.

We need to raise approximately $1500 per family to be able to move them into stabilized housing, provide them with blow up mattresses, pillows, sheets, towels, toiletries and one week of food to get them started.  Several shelters around the area have stated that they don’t take “people like that” referring to our children with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disabilities.  We will work to fix that for the next big storm but for now, we need your help to help this family directly.

Unlocking Autism is an all volunteer organization and all funds raised will go directly to families at this time.  Visit Unlocking Autism to make your tax deductible donation. The Johnson family thanks you for your help!

CLOTHING AND SHOE SIZES BELOW:

Fwd: Kym
Xl woman
14 misses pants
Panties size 8
Bra 38 DD
Shoe size 10

Keira
Girls 14 top and bottom
Pull ups size xl
Shoe size 5y

Londyn
Girl size 4t-5t top and bottom
Panties size 4t
Shoe size 10

Brooklyn
6mths -12 mths
Diapers size 1 or 2
Formula Enfamil  infant

DD
Shoe size 10 1/2
Shirt size medium/large
Pants size 31/32 or 32/32
Jacket size large
Underwear large

JB
Xl shirt
Xl drawlz
Pants 38 waist 34 length
Slim fit pants 40 waist ( big thighs)
Shoes size 12
Favorite colors red black royal blue