Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Voices Blog

Emergency Preparedness:
Be bold. Be Safe. Be Proactive

bottles of cleaning agents

Your Emergency Preparedness

On a good day with clean air and blue skies, people with SCI can experience a surge of complications. Compound the life of a person with SCI and COVID-19, things can become life threatening if we are not prepared. Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, under the direction of our Board of Directors, is fiercely at work mounting an emergency preparedness plan for our community. We’re working together in a number of ways with our corporate partners, all levels of government and donors to make this happen. With increasing COVID-19 cases, non-essential services closing and supply capacities thinning quickly, people with SCI are in a vulnerable situation and require community members to come together to support each other. Presently, we may be physically distancing for three months if we are not able to flatten the curve of cases per day. It’s best we prepare for the long term at home.

Here are a few things to remember

Attendant Services

  • Call your attendant services providers and be aware of their COVID-19 emergency preparedness protocols
  • Work with your attendants and agree on a sanitation plan every time they enter and leave your home
  • Have a back up plan in the event that your attendant can no longer come to your home

Adequate Supplies and Medications

  • Everyone should aim to have 30 days of medical supplies including urinary products, bandages and other essentials
  • Disposable gloves are in high demand; ensure you have daily supply for up to 30 days
  • Inquire about home delivery options with pharmacies and medical supply vendors

A Buddy System

  • Engage neighbours, family and  friends to create a daily virtual check-in
  • Ensure someone is available to get you urgent things
  • Keep your health care providers informed on how you are doing and anticipate things that you will require from them

Sanitizing Your Home

  • Ensure that you are wiping down high use surfaces in your home every day
  • Separate indoor clothes and outdoor clothes and launder outdoor clothes every day
  • Ensure handwashing regularly by all members of the home including attendants
  • Mop floors twice per week

Assistive Device Supports

  • Call your vendor.  Learn their emergency procedures
  • Do a maintenance audit on your assistive devices
  • Find out in case of an emergency, how fast can your vendor can visit you and have a plan in place

A Reliable Delivery System

  • Determine your plan for groceries, medical supplies, and prescriptions to be delivered in advance
  • Share delivery costs with your neighbours and friends
  • If you need to go out, take a friend but seek delivery options first


  • We set up an information resource webpage on COVID-19
  • We transitioned to a fully operational home based organization during COVID-19
  • We built a national emergency guideline for COVID-19 with our national partners
  • We are regularly calling our clients and troubleshooting day-to-day issues
  • We worked with ODSP to make access to funding for medical supplies easier
  • We set up an emergency arrangement strategy with medical supply manufactures and assistive device companies in case you need something quickly
  • We worked with distillery companies to send hand sanitizer to our clients’ homes
  • We ensured assistive devices vendors were on the essential services list
  • We are working with disposable gloves companies to ensure our clients have what they need
  • We are looking for delivery service partners for our clients
  • We have updated our Cortree Disability Education Centre to be free for all and relevant to COVID-19

We are in this together!

By Peter Athanasopoulos, Director of Public Policy, SCIO


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