Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
- How can medications and treatments, such as dialysis, be sustained during and after an emergency incident?
- How will large numbers of people with special needs be evacuated from a location if a major emergency occurs? And where would they go?
- What kind of transportation for people with disabilities will be available during evacuation?
- Will people with service animals and pets be able to get shelter?
- How will people who are deaf or hard of hearing find out about disaster warnings since most are given using a siren or on the radio?
These are some of the questions that area planners, emergency responders, elected officials, advocacy organizations, and people with disabilities are considering. The devastation wrought by events like hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 has highlighted the importance of assisting people with disabilities in disaster preparedness and response.
By working together to improve communication, cooperation, and coordination, we can ensure that everyone has access and support during an emergency or evacuation.
- Disability.gov provides content on emergency preparedness.
- Special Populations: Emergency and Disaster Preparedness (http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/outreach/specialpopulationsanddisasters.html) Learn more about how to support the special needs of vulnerable populations in disasters on this page from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information:
About 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have some kind of disability and 1 in 10 have a severe disability.