Emergency Preparedness Publications & Resources

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Video About Emergency Planning for People with Access & Functional Needs

This video is intended for emergency management personnel and focuses on emergency planning for populations with access and functional needs, sometimes called "Inclusive Planning." This includes people with disabilities, mobility issues, special needs, and vulnerabilities. The video emphasizes the need for a plan that covers all members of the community and ways to identify and incorporate populations with functional needs into the emergency planning process. Developed by the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, a joint program of FEMA and the US Army.

Course for Including People With Disabilities & Others With Access & Functional Needs in Disaster Operations.

FEMA. (February, 2014). IS-368: Including People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in Disaster Operations. Washington, DC: Author.

Including People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in Disaster Operations, a course designed for all personnel involved in disaster operations at the Joint Field Office (JFO) and in other disaster facilities and activities, has been released and is available to take. The purpose of this course is to increase awareness and understanding of the need for full inclusion of disaster survivors and FEMA staff who are people with disabilities, and people with access and functional needs. The course provides an overview of disabilities and access and functional needs and explains how disaster staff can apply inclusive practices in their disaster assignments.

Course Objectives:

At the completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations at the JFO and field locations.
  • Describe how JFO and field staff can support and include people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations.
  • Describe principles and FEMA initiatives that provide a foundation for the integration of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations.
  • Describe the history of the treatment of and services for people with disabilities.
  • Identify laws that provide the legal foundation for issues related to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
  • Describe the function of the Disability Integration Advisor.
  • Describe personal actions to support the integration of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in the JFO and field disaster operations.

Take the Course: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=IS-368

Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Special Needs

FEMA. (2011, September). Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Special Needs. Washington, DC: Author.

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person's abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. This guide outlines commonsense measures individuals with disabilities, special needs, and their caregivers can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen. Preparing makes sense for people with disabilities and special needs. Get Ready Now.

http://www.ready.gov/document/preparing-makes-sense-people-disabilities-and-special-needs

CERT Basic Training Participant Manual

FEMA. (2011, December). CERT Basic Training Participant Manual (Braille and Screen Reader Versions). Washington, DC: Author.

The National CERT Program continues to promote CERT training for all audiences. In addition to the recent release of the low vision and Spanish versions of the CERT Basic Training Participant Manual, we are pleased to announce the release of the Participant Manual in Braille and PDF screen reader versions. Each version includes the same content as the standard version Participant Manual—the nine units of the course and 13 hazard annexes.

Read more the screen reader version of the participant manual.

Local CERT program coordinators/managers can request copies of the Braille version of the Participant Manual. Please call the FEMA Distribution Center at 1-800-480-2520 or email FEMA-Publications-Warehouse@dhs.gov. Use Publication Number P-856 and Catalog Number 11189-2 to order the Participant Manual (four volumes in Braille).

For additional tools for communicating with all audiences, including people with disabilities, please visit the FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination Preparedness Resources website.

People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs: Preparing and Planning for an Emergency

Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2010, November). People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs: Preparing and Planning for an Emergency. Washington, DC: Author.

If you or someone close to you has a disability and other access and functional needs, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency. This reports lists the possible "additional steps" based on disability and other access and functional needs.

Additional steps include:

  • Consider how a disaster might affect your individual needs.
  • Plan to make it on your own, at least for a period of time. It's possible that you will not have access to a medical facility or even a drugstore.
  • Identify what kind of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if they are limited or not available.
  • Build A Kit with your unique consideration in mind. What do you need to maintain your health, safety and independence?

Read more about preparing and planning for an emergency

Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters

FEMA. (2010, November). Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters Washington, DC: Author.

The purpose of this document is to provide planning guidance that can be incorporated into existing shelter plans to State emergency managers and shelter planners to meet access and functional needs in general population shelters. This document provides guidance to assist emergency managers and shelter planners in understanding the requirements related to sheltering children and adults with functional support needs in general population shelters. Functional Needs Support Services (FNSS) and the guidance provided are designed to assist in the planning and resourcing of sheltering operations whether government, NGO, faith- or private-based to meet the access and functional needs of children and adults. These guidelines identify methods of achieving a lawful and equitable program through the delivery of FNSS for children and adults.

The guidelines are available in both text and pdf formats.

Functional Needs of People with Disabilities: Guide for Emergency Planners, Managers and Responders

National Organization on Disability. (2009). Functional Needs of People with Disabilities: Guide for Emergency Planners, Managers and Responders. Washington, DC: National Organization on Disability.

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) launched its Emergency Preparedness Initiative in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. NOD recognized that people with disabilities have a profound interest in the effectiveness of public programs to prepare for and respond to all types of disasters.

The Emergency Preparedness Initiative has two main objectives. The first is to make sure that the functional needs of people with disabilities are adequately addressed prior to an emergency in order to minimize the adverse impact on people with disabilities and their communities. This enables emergency responders to make informed decisions regarding the best use of available resources during emergencies. The second objective is to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the emergency-planning process at all levels of government and the private sector so they can offer their insights, knowledge, and resourcefulness. People with disabilities can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of local emergency- management planning.

The guide is available on the web and as a pdf.

Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs

Fema. (August, 2004). Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs. Washington, DC: Author.

For the millions of Americans who have physical, medical, sensory or cognitive disabilities, emergencies such as fires, floods and acts of terrorism present a real challenge. The same challenge also applies to the elderly and other special needs populations. Protecting yourself and your family when disaster strikes requires planning ahead. This booklet will help you get started. Discuss these ideas with your family, friends and/or your personal care attendant, or anyone else in your support network and prepare an emergency plan. Post the plan where everyone will see it, keep a copy with you and make sure everyone involved in your plan has a copy.

http://www.alabamaconnect.gov/pdf/people%20with%20special%20needs.pdf

Individuals with Disabilities or Access & Functional Needs

If you have a disability or an access and functional need, you may need to take additional steps to prepare for emergencies.

  • Stock a basic disaster supply kit.
  • Inventory what you use every day to live independently. Identify the essential things that you will need to be able to survive for 3 to 5 days or longer, if people cannot get to you.
  • Stock these custom essentials in your kit. For example, your kit may contain items such as durable medical equipment, assistive technology, food for special diets, prescription medicines, diabetic supplies, hearing aids and batteries, a TTY, manual wheelchair, and supplies for a service animal.

For more information visit Ready.gov's Access & Functional Needs.

We Prepare Everyday PSA: 2 minute video with open caption

A 2-minute video brought to you by the Ready Campaign and Ad Council showing people with disabilities taking charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies. The Public Service Announcement emphasizes the Ready Campaign’s four building blocks of preparedness - Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit and Get Involved. This video is available with open caption, certified deaf interpreter (CDI) and open caption, and with CDI, open caption and audio descriptions.

Watch video.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Launches Health and Disability Technical Assistance Program

NACCHO's Health and Disability Program is pleased to offer Technical Assistance (TA) to health departments interested in increasing inclusion and engagement of people with disabilities in emergency plans and/or policies. This program is sponsored by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Why Participate?

Health departments selected to participate in the program will work with NACCHO to identify areas for improvement in local- or state-level emergency plans. Based on identified gaps, NACCHO will provide TA through information, education, and suggestions for how to be more engaging and inclusive of people with disabilities.

Who Can Participate?

NACCHO is interested in working with state and local health departments who do not currently receive funding from NCBDDD that is intended to improve inclusion of people with disabilities into public health programs, policies, and services.

Interested?

All health departments interested in receiving TA from NACCHO through this program must complete an online questionnaire by April 15, 2014. The questionnaire is available here: http://naccho.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6QgJFiLQa2S4SZn.

Questions?

Please email Sarah Yates at syates@naccho.org or call 202-595-1122.

Emergency Preparedness and You

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Emergency Preparedness and You. Atlanta, GA: Author.

The possibility of public health emergencies arising in the United States concerns many people in the wake of recent hurricanes, tsunamis, acts of terrorism, and the threat of pandemic influenza. Though some people feel it is impossible to be prepared for unexpected events, the truth is that taking preparedness actions helps people deal with disasters of all sorts much more effectively when they do occur.

To help, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Red Cross have teamed up to answer common questions and provide step by step guidance you can take now to protect you and your loved ones.

Read more about this step-by-step guide

Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety. Atlanta, GA: Author.

When winter temperatures drop significantly below normal, staying warm and safe can become a challenge. Extremely cold temperatures often accompany a winter storm, so you may have to cope with power failures and icy roads. Although staying indoors as much as possible can help reduce the risk of car crashes and falls on the ice, you may also face indoor hazards. Many homes will be too cold—either due to a power failure or because the heating system isn't adequate for the weather. When people must use space heaters and fireplaces to stay warm, the risk of household fires increases, as well as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Read more about the extreme cold guide

What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly Atlanta, GA: Author.

CDC offers these tips to help you prepare for and cope with sudden loss of power, including:

  • Food safety
  • Safe drinking water
  • Extreme heat and cold
  • First aid for electrical shock
  • Power line hazards and cars
  • Avoid carbon monoxide
  • Dangers of gasoline siphoning
  • Safety at work during power recovery
  • Be prepared for an emergency

Read more about unexpected power outages

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments. Chapter 7, ADA Checklist for Emergency Shelters

U.S. Department of Justice. (2009, September). ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments. Chapter 7, ADA Checklist for Emergency Shelters. Washington, DC: Author.

The Tool Kit is designed to teach state and local government officials how to identify and fix problems that prevent people with disabilities from gaining equal access to state and local government programs, services, and activities. It will also teach state and local officials how to conduct accessibility surveys of their buildings and facilities to identify and remove architectural barriers to access. Chapter 7 deals with emergency planning and shelter access.

Read moreabout the emergency shelters checklist

U.S. Access Board

U.S. Access Board Issues Guidelines for Emergency Transportable Housing

The U.S. Access Board has issued guidelines that address access to temporary housing provided by the government in emergencies and natural disasters. The new requirements supplement the Board's accessibility guidelines for facilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) by adding provisions and exceptions specific to emergency transportable housing units. While the ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines address residential dwelling units, it was determined in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that further detail was needed on addressing access to emergency transportable housing units. Such units are used to provide temporary housing for those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by a disaster until permanent housing is found. Sized for transport over roadways, they have a smaller footprint than other types of housing and pose unique accessibility challenges and considerations.

Read more about these guidelines.

National Council on Disability (NCD)

Effective Communications for People with Disabilities: Before, During, and After Emergencies Organization

A new report by the National Council on Disability (NCD) describes effective communication practices with people with disabilities before, during and after emergencies. This report identifies barriers, facilitators, and successful practices to providing effective emergency-related communications. The report examines the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communications; reviews the enforcement of disability laws and regulations as they pertain to effective communications before, during, and after emergencies. Information on the experiences and perceptions of people with disabilities as they relate to emergency-related communications is also provided. Among the problems mentioned in the report are inaccessible evacuation maps; websites with emergency information that is not accessible to screen readers used by people who are blind or who have low vision; and shelters where no one is able to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Based on the findings of the report, NCD has put forth a series of recommendations for policy makers, federal partners, and emergency managers.

Read more about Effective Communications for People with Disabilities

Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities

National Council on Disability. (2009, August). Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities. Washington, DC: Author.

This report calls on federal, state, and local authorities to make sweeping changes in emergency management practices for people with disabilities. NCD's report offers information and advice to assist all levels of government in their work to establish evidence-based policies, programs, and practices across the life cycle of disasters.

Read more about improvments for communities and people with disabilities

Saving Lives: Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Planning

National Council on Disability. (2005). Saving Lives: Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Planning. Washington, DC: National Council on Disability.

All too often in emergency situations the legitimate concerns of people with disabilities are overlooked or swept aside. In areas ranging from the accessibility of emergency information to the evacuation plans for high-rise buildings, great urgency surrounds the need for responding to these people's concerns in all planning, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities. The man-made homeland security terrorist event of September 11, 2001, as well as the recent energy blackouts in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest and, more recently, the natural disaster hurricane events in Florida and the Asian tsunami of December 26, 2004, underscore the need to pay attention to the concerns raised in this report.

The decisions the Federal Government makes, the priority it accords to civil rights, and the methods it adopts to ensure uniformity in the ways agencies handle their disability-related responsibilities are likely to be established in the early days of an emergency situation and be difficult to change if not set on the right course at the outset. By way of this report, the National Council on Disability (NCD) offers advice to help the Federal Government establish policies and practices in these areas. The report also gives examples of community efforts to take account of the needs of people with disabilities, but by no means does it provide a comprehensive treatment of the emergency preparedness, disaster relief, or homeland security program efforts by state and local governments.

This report provides an overview of steps the Federal Government should take to build a solid and resilient infrastructure that will enable the government to include the diverse populations of people with disabilities in emergency preparedness, disaster relief, and homeland security programs. This infrastructure incorporates access to technology, physical plants, programs, and communications. It also includes procurement and emergency programs and services.

Read more about the steps to improve the lives of people with disiabilities in emergencies

The Impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on People with Disabilities: A Look Back and Remaining Challenges

National Council on Disability. (2006). The Impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on People with Disabilities: A Look Back and Remaining Challenges. Washington, DC: National Council on Disability.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the lives of many people who lived in the Gulf Coast region. Fortunately, millions of Americans opened their homes and their hearts to hurricane survivors while local, state, and federal government employees worked around the clock to evacuate and rescue people. With almost a year since the Hurricanes made landfall and wreaked havoc on the lives of many, we now have a clearer understanding of what went right, as well as what went wrong, with the response and recovery efforts. As this report will demonstrate, people with disabilities were disproportionately affected by the Hurricanes because their needs were often overlooked or completely disregarded. Their evacuation, shelter, and recovery experiences differed vastly from the experiences of people without disabilities. People with disabilities were often unable to evacuate because transportation was inaccessible. For example, most evacuation busses did not have wheelchair lifts. Moreover, people with visual and hearing disabilities were unable to obtain necessary information pertinent to their safety because said communication did not comply with federal law. To ensure that people with disabilities do not experience similar injustices during future catastrophes, emergency plans must acknowledge and address the difficulties experienced by people with disabilities discussed within this report, as well as include people with disabilities in rebuilding efforts. The National Council on Disability (NCD) offers these findings on the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on people with disabilities to guide the President, Congress, and other emergency planners to develop inclusive emergency preparedness and response plans.

Read more about the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on people with disabilities

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

A Framework of Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Federal Agencies. Preparing the Workplace for Everyone: Accounting for the Needs of People with Disabilities

Office of Disability Employment Policy. (2005, July). A Framework of Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Federal Agencies. Preparing the Workplace for Everyone: Accounting for the Needs of People with Disabilities. Washington, DC: Author.

Preparing the Workplace for Everyone is meant to serve as a launching point for federal agencies as they re-evaluate and strengthen their Occupant Emergency Plans (OEPs), which are required for all federal agencies by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). This framework of guidelines reflects the effective practices of nearly 20 federal agencies gathered from direct input, existing reports and articles, and actual emergency plans.

Read more about this emergency framework

National Organization on Disability (NOD)

Prepare Yourself: Disaster Readiness Tips for People with Disabilities

National Organization on Disability / Emergency Preparedness Initiative. (September, 2009). Prepare Yourself: Disaster Readiness Tips for People with Disabilities. Washington, DC: Author.

To be better prepared as a nation, we all must do our part to plan for disasters. Individuals with or without disabilities can lessen the impact of a disaster by taking steps to prepare before an event occurs.

Results from focus groups conducted by the National Organization on Disability’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative (EPI) indicate that people with disabilities need to be more self reliant in emergencies.

You can take small steps every day to become better able to survive an emergency. Get informed, identify your resources, make a plan, and create a Ready Kit and a Go Bag.

http://nod.org/assets/downloads/Readiness-Tips-Disabilities.pdf

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Information Regarding Insulin Storage and Switching Between Products in an Emergency

Food and Drug Administration (October, 2012). Information Regarding Insulin Storage and Switching Between Products in an Emergency. Silver Spring, MD: Author.

Insulin from various manufacturers is often made available to patients in an emergency and may be different from a patient's usual insulin. After a disaster, patients in the affected area may not have access to refrigeration. According to the product labels from all three U.S. insulin manufacturers, it is recommended that insulin be stored in a refrigerator at approximately 36 to 46 degrees F. Unopened and stored in this manner, these products maintain potency until the expiration date on the package. However, all of the available insulin products may be left unrefrigerated (between 59 and 86 degrees F) for up to 28 days and still maintain potency.

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/ucm085213.htm

Misc

Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employers' Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans

Loy, B. & Batiste, L.C. (2011). Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employers' Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans. Job Accomodation Network: Morgantown, WV.

Interest in emergency evacuation planning has increased dramatically over the last decade. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) continues to receive calls from employers requesting information about their legal obligation to develop emergency evacuation plans and how to include employees with disabilities in such plans. This publication addresses these issues.

http://askjan.org/media/EmployersGuideEmergencyEvacuation.pdf

Taking Responsibility for Your Safety A Guide for People with Disabilities and Other Activity

Kailes, J.I. (2002). Taking Responsibility for Your Safety A Guide for People with Disabilities and Other Activity. Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions: Pomona, California.

This guide focuses on people with disabilities and activity limitations successfully evacuating buildings.

Its goal is to help you strengthen your evacuation preparedness. It does not address area evacuations sometimes needed in response to hurricane and flood warnings.

http://www.cdihp.org/evacuation/emergency_evacuation.pdf

Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide For People with Disabilities

National Fire Protection Association. (June, 2007). Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide For People with Disabilities. Quincy, Massachusetts: Author.

The NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities has been developed with input from the disability community to provide general information on this important topic. In addition to providing information on the five general categories of disabilities (mobility impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, speech impairments, and cognitive impairments), the Guide outlines the four elements of evacuation information that occupants need: notification, way finding, use of the way, and assistance. Also included is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Planning Checklist that building services managers and people with disabilities can use to design a personalized evacuation plan. The annexes give government resources and text based on the relevant code requirements and ADA criteria.

http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files//PDF/Forms/EvacuationGuide.pdf

Workplace Safety for People with Disabilities

National Fire Protection Association. (2012). Workplace Safety for People with Disabilities. Quincy, Massachusetts: Author.

Fire can spread rapidly and people with disabilities can experience additional challenges in an escape. Planning ahead and having an emergency plan can ensure a safe escape. The NFPA has some tips to consider for people with disabilities.

http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files//PDF/Public%20Education/Workplacedisabilities.pdf

Emergency Evacuation: Safe Egress of Persons with Disabilities from Transit Systems

Easter Seals. (September, 2004). Emergency Evacuation: Safe Egress of Persons with Disabilities from Transit Systems.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 mandates that passengers with and without disabilities have equal access to public transportation vehicles. A passenger with a disability also has the same right to safe egress from that vehicle during an emergency. Transit agencies and passengers with disabilities (and those who accompany people with disabilities) share a responsibility to be aware of passenger safety inthe case of an emergency evacuation. There are several important steps and strategies for effective emergency preparedness and response.

During an emergency evacuation many passengers may need additional assistance, such as those who do not speak English or people who are panicked and confused. Effective emergency preparedness and planning for passengers with disabilities benefits all passengers.

http://www.transitaccessproject.org/InternalDocs/EmergencyEvac/EmergencyEvac.pdf

Fire Safety for Wheelchair Users at Work and at Home

United Spinal Association. (April, 2013). Fire Safety for Wheelchair Users at Work and at Home. Jackson Heights, NY: Author.

United Spinal Association has developed a free online training program designed to save the lives of individuals with disabilities and mobility impairments during fire emergencies.

United Spinal Association developed the fire safety training program that can be downloaded and shared with others with two practical goals in mind:

  • To review the features of building code life/fire safety requirements for newly constructed buildings and facilities that affect people with mobility impairments.
  • To review evacuation protocols from the workplace and home for wheelchair users and people with disabilities.

http://www.unitedspinal.org/pdf/WheelchairFireSafety.pdf

State Resources

Alabama

American Red Cross (February, 2003). Fact Sheet on Shelter in Place. Washington, DC: Author

One of the instructions you may be given in an emergenc y where hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere is to shelter-in-place. This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. (This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm.) Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off your entire home or office building. If you are told to shelter-in-place, follow the instructions provided in this Fact Sheet.

http://www.alabamaconnect.gov/pdf/shelterinplace.pdf

California

Imperiale, P. (1991). Special Needs in Emergency Planning and Preparedness. San Francisco Mayor' s Office of Community Development. California.

For the population known as "disabled" the Loma Prieta earthquake was a glimpse of how special needs that are a matter of life and death for some people can be overlooked. Consider this scenario: Richard, a mobility-impaired municipal employee, sat motionless as the ceiling in his high-rise office began to fall. He couldn't get out of his wheel chair to take cover. Then all was dark, there was no longer the sound of other people moving about; apparently everyone else had already left. Richard was alone. Telephones were inoperable, elevators had ceased to function, and there seemed to be a gas leak. Richard was stranded.

http://www.calema.ca.gov/PlanningandPreparedness/Documents/Special_Needs_of_the_Disability_Community.pdf

Connecticut

University of Connecticut. (2009). A Guide for Including People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparedness Planning. Connecticut: Author.

This guide, written for municipal and regional planners, reflects information, concerns and recommendations that emerged at the daylong forum on December 6, 2005, on "Lessons Learned" from recent large-scale disasters that affected states along the Gulf Coast. At the forum, individuals connected with the disability communities in those states presented a compelling picture of both widespread ignorance of disability issues among those responsible for disaster planning and response, and a tragic lack of preparedness on the part of people with disabilities and the human service infrastructure. Discussions among forum participants focused on sharing information about Connecticut's system for planning and responding to large scale emergencies, and on ways to make sure the needs of people with disabilities are met.

As the day progressed, a number of themes emerged: the necessity of accommodating assistive devices and personal support networks in evacuation and sheltering scenarios; the importance of knowing where people live and work; the fact that there was no "one size fits all" solution; and the need to ensure an array of communications, transportation, housing and relief strategies to meet a variety of individual needs and circumstances. Perhaps the most important lesson learned, however, involved the critical need for networking and collaborative planning between people with disabilities and planners, responders and government leaders. This guide is written to facilitate that process.

Read more about the disaster preparedness planning guide

Illinois

State of Illinois. (November 2010). Emergency Preparedness Tips for Those with Functional Needs. State of Illinois, Illinois Terrorism Task Force.

Being prepared for disasters or emergencies is critically important in today's ever changing environment. it is even more important for those with disabilities, special needs or those who may need assistance in the event of a disaster or other emergency. This document has been specially developed by a team of emergency management and health professionals to help assist those with special needs to be better prepared for a disaster or emergency. your ability to successfully respond to a disaster is directly related to your preparedness prior to the disaster. you should review this document with your family and any persons who may provide care for you. Please contact your local emergency management agency or local chapter of the american red cross for additional information about preparing for disasters and emergencies. you can also obtain additional information from our ready Illinois website (www.ready.illinois.gov) on how to become better prepared.

Read more about emergency preparedness tips

Massachusetts

City of Worcester. (2013) Voluntary Emergency Preparedness Registry. Massachusetts: Author

The Voluntary Emergency Preparedness Registry allows people with disabilities (mobility, visual, hearing, cognitive or mental health) to register in advance with the City of Worcester so that emergency workers may better plan their responses to natural and manmade disasters when ordinary support services are impaired or unavailable.

Read more about the registry

Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness. (2009). Family Preparedness Planner. Boston: Author.

The Family Preparedness Planner is an interactive application that residents complete by filling out the addresses of important locations — such as schools, workplaces and an out-of-town meeting place — and contact information for family, workplaces, schools and doctors/veterinarians. Residents also can upload digital photos of household members and pets.

Read more about the registry

Texas

Office of the Governor Rick Perry. (2013). Home Use Devices: How to Prepare and Handle Power Outages for Medical Devices that Require Electricity. Texas: Author.

As a home medical device user, it is important that your device works during a power outage and that you have a plan in place to ensure you know what to do. This booklet will help you have an established plan to obtain and organize your medical device information, take necessary actions so that you can continue to use your device, have the necessary supplies for the operation of your device, and know where to go or what to do during a power outage. If you use more than one medical device, complete a booklet for each device and ask your healthcare professional to help you.

Read more about home device usage

Vermont

Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living. (201) Just in case. Be ready for an emergency. Vermont:Author>

We may not like to think about it but emergencies and disasters do happen. Here in Vermont, we face weather emergencies like ice storms and flooding, disease outbreaks such as the flu, and manmade disasters like hazardous waste spills. It's simply common sense to be ready for these events.

This booklet offers practical tips and guidance on how to stay safe during an emergency. It is written especially for people with special needs, and will help you to:

  • Think about what you will need during an emergency
  • Identify a support team and put together an emergency contact list
  • Prepare to be safe in your home, if it's not possible to get out for a few days
  • Be ready to leave your home (evacuate) if you need to

Read more about being prepared

Virginia

Fairfax County, VA. (2013). Winter Preparedness Tips. Fairfax, VA: Author.

People with disabilities may want to take extra care during the cold weather season. Some disabling conditions may limit sensory abilities and the ability to maintain body heat, so be particularly vigilant about staying warm when you are out in low temperatures.

Read more about winter preparedness.