Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Emergency Now

If you are in an emergency and need help now, dial 911. For assistance finding an open shelter, visit the American Red Cross. If you are not in immediate danger, consider using the resources on this site to help you prepare for an emergency.

Woman preparing emergency bag at home

Emergencies, such as natural disasters, human-caused disasters, and disease outbreaks, can be scary and stressful. This web page includes resources that can help you feel more prepared and may keep you safer during emergencies.

Your role before, during, and after an emergency

As a person with a disability, you may experience additional barriers during an emergency. That is why it is so important for you to prepare for emergencies. As you prepare, consider how you can meet your needs during an emergency. It is important to be prepared because you may not have access to first responders or healthcare professionals during an emergency.

Planning ahead will help. During emergencies, first responders may be unable to reach people quickly, and medical services may be overwhelmed. This can directly affect people with disabilities.

Consider using the resources on this site to keep yourself as safe and healthy as possible before, during, and after an emergency. If you are a parent or caregiver, CDC’s Caring for Children in a Disaster web page includes information specific for children and youth with special healthcare needs.

Important Note About Voluntary Registries

Although some locations offer registries to identify and locate people who may require assistance during emergencies, you should not depend on registries to keep you safe. In a disaster, responders may not be able to reach you, even if you have signed up for a registry. Instead of relying on a registry, you should make an individual plan to meet your specific needs in an emergency.