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(courtesy photo)

Braille Institute San Diego Holds First-Ever “Emergensee” Event

La Jolla CA— “EmergenSee: Seeing Beyond the Emergency” event was hosted at Braille Institute San Diego in UTC area on Friday, June 17, 2017. This unique, first-of-its-kind event was different from first aid and disaster prep for sighted people as there are several crucial items and steps that individuals with low or no vision need to remember in an emergency situation, including their white cane, guide dog license and more.

Local students who are visually impaired experienced hands-on interactive activities on how to be prepared in emergency situations, including a fire, power outage, or natural disaster. This was a free event and open to the public.

An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Brian Ha, volunteered his time to lead a workshop on what individuals with low vision and their loved ones can do to be better prepared in an emergency situation. He provided all the necessities for an emergency or first aid kit.

Also, Braille Institute San Diego students with low or no vision had the opportunity to tour a fire truck courtesy of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Students used their sense of touch and hearing to experience the different characteristics of the fire truck.

Attendees learned the following at this event:

  • Information on all the necessities for an emergency or first aid kit
  • The important papers to have on hand in an emergency, including guide dog certification, home deed, cash and banking information, emergency contacts and numbers, insurance, and identification.
  • The personal care items to have accessible in case of emergency, including low vision aids (i.e. magnifier, pen friend), portable vision appliances, cane, extra guide dog leash, pet food, toiletries, and clothing.
  • Other emergency measures the event will touch on are the following:
    • Location of emergency exits, gas, water and electric shut off valves.
    • Emergency routes in case usual routes are not in operation.
    • Information regarding evacuation transportation for individuals with disabilities
    • A list of emergency contacts and numbers on paper as well as in a format that works with the individual’s level of vision (i.e. smart phone, tablet, tape recorder or pen).
    • A landline with numbers pre-programmed in case of a problem with cell phone signal and texting would also be helpful.
    • A list for family and or caregivers so they know where to find you.
    • Creating a disaster buddy system with friends, neighbors and family, and make contacts with individuals and agencies both local (such as the local fire house or Red Cross affiliate).

Braille Institute is dedicated to helping people live well with low vision. Teaching Braille is a very small service offering, as nearly 90 percent of their students (youth and adults) have some remaining vision, and it’s their mission to support independence as their students’ vision changes. Braille Institute San Diego hosts other free workshops on Fridays for people with low vision or are blind. Visit brailleinstitute.org/sandiego for more information.