This section contains information and resources that people with disabilities, families, service providers, and others can use to become better informed and educated about how to best prepare for a broad range of disaster situations – from emergencies that may just affect you and where you live (such as a fire) to weather emergencies that may be confined to local communities or be more widespread (summer/winter storms) to emergencies that may affect a large section of the country (terrorism). Being prepared can greatly increase your safety, and your ability to take care of yourself during and immediately after the disaster.
Winter Storms & Extreme Cold: Tips for Parents and Self Advocates
The California Emergency Management Agency (CA EMA) has developed several emergency planning resources for individuals with disabilities and families. A variety of emergency planning kits are described along with checklists for each kit.
Smart911 is a free service that can benefit anyone, anywhere in the United States, in any type of emergency. Smart911 allows citizens to create a Safety Profile with details about medical conditions and medications of household members, vehicles, pets, and emergency contacts that is shared only with 9-1-1 when a call is made from a registered phone. To learn more about the service and how to create a Safety Profile, go to https://www.smart911.com PLEASE NOTE: Smart911 is not yet available in Minnesota but information is available about steps to take to bring the service to local communities.
Emergency Planning for People with Access and Functional Needs
Emergency Planning for People with Access and Functional Needs talks about "inclusive planning" in terms of preparing communities to address and respond to emergency situations for everyone, including individuals with disabilities.
FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is intended to make sure that alerts and warnings are fully accessible by the whole community, including people with disabilities. A multi-platform approach disseminates information through a variety of devices to ensure access to critical information by everyone. But there are still some final hurdles to overcome.
FEMA Guide: "Are You Ready?":
"Emergency Planning and Checklists":
"Disaster Supplies Checklist":
Virtual POD is an open source software package that can be used for disaster and emergency planning and preparedness purposes that include all community members, including individuals with disabilities. With Virtual POD, environments can be build, viewed, and modified to assure that access and various accommodations are considered and included.
First Responder Tips
Mobile Tips for First Responders was developed by Project REDD at the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University. Disability acronyms and emergency management acronyms are also included with this resource.
The "Show Me" Communication Tool is a free downloadable app available at the iTunes Store and Google Play. The Tool uses symbols and icons to help individuals with disabilities better communicate their needs and concerns to emergency shelter staff in emergencies. www.mass.gov/dph/showme.
"Did You Hear Me?" is a PowerPoint presentation, one of a series of ADA online learning courses sponsored by the ADA National Network. This presentation discusses auxiliary aids and services in the context of emergency planning. Slides (PDF) Slides (RTF) Transcript (PDF)