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Assisting People With Disabilities In A Disaster
Disability.gov has a section on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery that is geared to people with disabilities.There is a guide created jointly by AAARP, FEMA, American Red Cross and others called Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities, Others with Access and Functional Needs and the Whole Community. It includes "commonsense measures individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs and the people who assist and support them can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen." A video covering this material is seen below.
Also on the Disability.gov site, you will find a link to a fillable document for creating a Family Emergency Plan so each member knows what to do in the event of a disaster. If you're not sure what to include in a basic emergency supply kit, you can find recommended items here. If you like to keep track of weather conditions or basic information on first aid for humans and pets, this page lists American Red Cross apps to help.
Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs
The Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions (CDIHP) at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, has several publications including:
Emergency Health Information is used to tell rescuers important information about you if you are found unconscious or unable to provide information. Include information about your medications, equipment, allergies, communication, preferred treatment and medical providers and contact information.
Emergency Evacuation Preparedness, Taking Responsibility for Your Safety: A Guide for People with Disabilities and Other Activity Limitations is a publication supported by grants from the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and the Bank of America.
Feeling Safe, Being Safe
DP2: Disabled People and Disaster Planning
- How to prepare for people with disabilities when a disaster is predicted
- How to make emergency shelters more accessible
- How to train rescue workers and law enforcement to effectively assist people with disabilities
- How to evacuate wheelchair users
- How to disseminate information to people with disabilities after a disaster
- How to make services accessible after a disaster
- Disaster Planning Information and Suggestions for Persons with Disabilities and Those Assisting Them
Fire Evacuation Tips for People with Disabilities: Provided by the City of Tempe, AZ, this document offers fire safety suggestions for people with different kinds of disabilities: mobility impairment, visual impairments, hearing impairment and deafness, and cognitive disabilities. It also advises what to do with assistive devices in the event of fire, and emphasizes the importance of evacuating assistance animals with their owners.
Fire Safety and Disabilities Guide by Andrea Davis
Fire Safety Solutions for People with Disabilities - A Model Program from Oklahoma that Saves Lives
Guide to Teaching Fire Safety to Students with Disabilities
Fire Safety for the Disabled from Fairfax County, VA
Fire Safety Checklist
Animal Disaster Preparedness
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Saving the Whole Family
Earthquake!, by Jim Hammitt, Mainstream Magazine This May,1994 article describes the experiences of people with disabilities during and after the Northridge, CA earthquake in January, 1994. The obstacles Northridge residents with disabilities encountered when trying to access relief services indicated a need for better emergency management solutions. This job requires the initiative and participation of people with disabilities themselves. Articles like these, even though they are older, are valuable in raising awareness.
This article from the Muscular Dystrophy Association describes a new fire extinguisher that can be easily operated by people with mobility, visual or cognitive disabilities. The project was spearheaded by a woman who uses a wheelchair, who lectures on home and fire safety for people with disabilities. The project has been placed on hold, but perhaps you agree there's a need and can support this important project.
"Coping with Disaster: Suggestions for Helping Children with Cognitive Disabilities" This article can be found in Impact's feature issue on Disaster Preparedness and People with Disabilities. This is a publication by the Institute on Community Integration, at the University of MN.