Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

Individuals with disabilities often are disproportionately impacted during times of disaster. A variety of barriers may already exist such as lack of transportation and inaccessible buildings, and other barriers are either created or exacerbated by the disaster itself. Effective and inclusive evacuation, sheltering, and other response and recovery activities are critical.

People with disabilities who are self-sufficient under regular circumstances may have to rely on the help of others in an emergency situation. They may need more time than others to make necessary preparations for an emergency. Arrangements need to be made for service animals and necessary medical equipment. The following resources will help you safely prepare for emergencies:


For People with Disabilities and Caregivers

Preparing for a Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs
The booklet gives tips on getting informed, making a plan, assembling a kit, and maintaining these plans for people with disabilities.These tips provide you and your caregivers with considerations needed to help manage communications, equipment, pets and home hazards.

Tools and information that people with disabilities and other access and functional needs may wish to consider when making their emergency plans and preparations.

Are You Ready?: An In Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
The guide has been designed to help the citizens learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types of hazards. It can be used as a reference source or as a step-by-step manual. The focus of the content is on how to develop, practice, and maintain emergency plans that refl ect what must be done before, during, and after a disaster to protect people and their property.


For Emergency Workers

Community Planning Toolkit for State Emergency Workers
The main focus of this toolkit is to serve as a support to state, local and tribal emergency planners to better prepare these entities for all types of disasters.  The Toolkit is organized by the following needs-based categories: transportation, communication, medical care, supervision and maintaining independence.


For Children and Schools

Prepare.Org for Children and Schools
This material can be used to help children in school and home settings to prepare for natural and man-made disasters, respond safely to emergencies and recover from trauma.

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools TA Center
The Center for School Preparedness provides support, resources, grants, and training to support emergency management efforts for local educational agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs).


Other Helpful Resources

Disability Prepared
An interactive web site that brings together some exemplary current best practice efforts addressing disaster-related needs of people with disabilities. These are new ideas or fresh approaches using proven methods that can be replicated at the state, county or grassroots level.

FEMA Office on Disability Coordination
Preparing individuals and families and strengthening communities before, during and after a disaster by providing guidance, tools, methods and strategies to integrate and coordinate emergency management efforts to meet the needs of all citizens, including children and adults with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

National Organization on Disability: Emergency Preparedness Materials
Materials to help emergency managers address disability concerns and to ensure that people with disabilities are included in planning, response, and recovery efforts

Provides information on disaster assistance from over 17 government agencies as well as online applications for assistance.