WILLIAMSON - Information being distributed to the public by the Mingo Health Department regarding the need for local residents to become involved in the “West Virginia Vulnerable Needs” program is one that is very important to those who created and support the worthwhile cause.
The program is a system that allows residents with special needs the opportunity to provide personal information to emergency planning officials. The information will be utilized to plan for emergencies such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, special needs shelters, medication distribution, power outages, evacuations and other local emergencies. The information is confidential and will only be used for planning purposes or to assist those in need during an actual emergency.
Those who are considered as a special needs individual are defined under state guidelines as “populations whose members may have additional needs before, during and after an accident in functional areas including but not limited to: maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision and medical care. Individuals potentially in need of additional assistance during emergencies may include those with disabilities, those who live in institutionalized settings, elderly and children, those from diverse cultures, those with limited English proficiency or who are non- English speaking and those individuals who are transportation disadvantaged.”
The information requested by emergency management to better assist you or a family member in need during the event of an emergency or disaster include providing a name, location, age, language spoke, gender, type of home (house, mobile home, apartment building, etc.), house number or driving directions if you do not have a 911 address, a list of emergency contacts or next of kin, special equipment needs, transportation needs, whether or not a service animal is assigned to the individual, a list of health issues/limitations, caregiver requirements, mobility needs, oxygen dependability and whether or not electric is necessary to power the equipment, a list of food and drug allergies and the name and contact number for your medical provider.
To register for this emergency system, you may access the website www.helpmewv.org and fill out the “Individual System Information” application online, or if you do not have a home computer, you may call the Mingo County Health Department at 304-235-3570 and an employee will be more than happy to assist you with getting registered.
The information collected on the website or via the phone will not be available to the public and will only be released to public safety officials and agencies to improve their ability to effectively plan for the needs of vulnerable populations.