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Emergency Preparedness

Graphic showing four houses with blizzard, flood, fire, and earthquake.

Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning, forcing people to leave or be confined in their home. For the millions of Americans who have disabilities, emergencies such as fires, floods and acts of terrorism present a real challenge. One of the things learned from the response to Hurricane Katrina was that people with disabilities were disproportionately affected by the storm and its aftermath.

It is important that people with disabilities and their family members make plans to protect themselves in the event of disasters. In addition, first responders need to know how to work with people with disabilities to evacuate them safely and quickly. Emergency planners must ensure that shelters are accessible to people with a variety of disabilities.

Following is information to help you get ready.

Information for People with Disabilities

Protecting yourself and your family when emergencies occur requires planning ahead. You are in the best position to plan for your own safety as you are best able to know your abilities and possible needs during and after an emergency or disaster. You can cope with emergencies by preparing and practicing in advance with your family and care attendants.

Article: Emergency Preparedness Training
Learn how people with disabilities, their families, and first responders can plan ahead for safety during a disaster.

Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs
This booklet from FEMA and the American Red Cross helps people with disabilities prepare for all kinds of emergencies.

Disability Preparedness
This website from Disabilitypreparedness.gov provides information on how to prepare, develop a plan, use assistive technologies, and understand your rights.

Information for Emergency Managers, Responders, Service & Care Providers

During an emergency, people with a disability may require assistance. Some physical disabilities may be obvious while others, such as mental illness or intellectual disabilities, may not be. Every person and every disability is unique. Respecting people with disabilities and treating them with dignity must be part of the response.

Article: Emergency Preparedness Training
Learn how people with disabilities, their families, and first responders can plan ahead for safety during a disaster.

Tips for First Responders
This is a simple, easy-to-use tip sheet with information for assisting people with a wide range of disabilities.

Disability Preparedness
This website from Disabilitypreparedness.gov provides information for emergency managers, responders, and service and care providers.

Preparing for and Responding to Pandemic Influenza: Implications for People with Disabilities
This article discusses the need for emergency managers and public health officials to address the specific needs of people with disabilities in their pandemic influenza plans.

Effective Emergency Preparedness Planning for Employers
This website includes resources related to workplace emergency preparedness and the needs of employees with disabilities.

 

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