Emergency and Disaster Readiness Video Resources in ASL
Emergency Preparedness - Emergency Backpacks
Susan Coulter is the multi-talented Educational Services Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, a 501(c)3 organization in Central California dedicated to serving Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf & Blind, and Late Deafened individuals and their families. Their four offices (Fresno Headquarters, Central Coast Outreach in Salinas, South Valley Outreach in Visalia, and Merced Outreach) serve eight counties, which include Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, and Tulare Counties.
Susan has produced a valuable instructional video in American Sign Language, with English subtitles, a vlog about having an emergency backpack for any emergency, for all ages. This exceptionally thorough video runs about 22 minutes and covers all the bases regarding preparing a “Go Bag” for people with hearing impairments. You can find it here. Susan has also produced similar videos providing a general overview on Emergency Preparedness and a careful description of a Fire Escape Plan,, which can be found at: https://www.dhhsc.org/emergency-preparedness/
This 6-minute video is an interview with a member of the New Jersey Association of the Deaf. She shares her experience during a major hurricane in 2012, and recommendations she has based on that experience and her work with her local Community Emergency Response Team.
Good first-hand story to help understand what emergency preparedness should look like, and what can go wrong. Does not go into much depth on the steps of preparedness before and after an emergency, but does give some interesting tips based on personal experience.
Emergency Preparedness Tips in Sign Language:
This 4.5-minute video goes through disaster and emergency preparedness tips and techniques, including how to create an emergency kit, make a plan, and get information. Tips include factors that are specific to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, such as packing extra hearing aid batteries and purchasing a text display radio. The video emphasizes three steps in emergency preparedness: make a ready kit, be prepared, and stay informed and goes into detail on what should be included in your ready kit and has specific advice for things to include for those who are deaf/hard of hearing. Does not go in-depth on steps for being prepared and staying informed. The video is in ASL, with English subtitles and voiceover.
Emergency Preparedness: Plan (ASL):
This 6-minute video from the Arizona DEMA’s Emergency Preparedness series encourages community members to create a plan for what to do in the case of an emergency. It emphasizes the need for separate versions of this plan for different places you spend time (such as home, work and school), choosing a meeting place out of the area as well as nearby, and discussing with your family the steps to take in either an evacuation or staying in place. It gives advice such creating pre-written messages as it may be easier for those who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate, and checking with local emergency management agency to see if they keep a record of those with access and functional needs.
This video gives a lot of information and details every step of preparing for an emergency situation. Worth the 6 minutes to watch, and a great resource for someone needing to create a plan. It’s also a bit hard on the eyes as the narrator is wearing black on a black background.
Emergency Preparedness: Prepare (ASL):
This 8-minute video from the Arizona DEMA’s Emergency Preparedness series explains what to pack in a disaster supplies kit and why these things should be included, and also includes tips for what to do if resources are tight during an emergency situation.
This video gives plenty of examples of items to include and why, and considers items to include if you have young ones or pets. It also explains what smaller kits for your work and car should look like, in case you are not home in the case of an emergency. Very well organized, a little longer than some videos on the topic but not the longest.
Emergency Preparedness Kit in American Sign Language:
This roughly 5-minute video, created by university students and the American Red Cross, explains how to create and use a list of essentials to pack and bring in an emergency preparedness kit in order to be prepared to evacuate.
The video quality is lower for this video than the others and does not include a script.
FEMA Video on Preparedness:
This 6-minute video is an interview with an ASL user about her experience during Hurricane Sandy. She goes through some of the supplies that she included in her kit, her number one advice for preparing your home for a hurricane, and making a communication plan with your family and friends. The first time she goes through her emergency preparedness kit she mentions things like a hardhat and a vest, which are not the first things that should be on your list for a kit. Her second time mentioning a kit she goes through more of the basics like water, batteries, etc.
CDC Disaster American Sign Language Videos:
This series of videos was created by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and is focused on natural disasters and severe weather. It includes a few videos on preparing for an emergency situation, as well as videos on what to do during and after that emergency. It covers topics such as carbon monoxide
poisoning, flood safety, and information for those with children or who are pregnant.
Covers a wide range of topics for during and after, with most videos being 2-3 minutes each. Natural disasters they cover specifically are limited to floods, hurricanes, and winter weather, and as such may not be as helpful for other circumstances. Very few videos included for what to do before an emergency. There is no script on the screen, only sound and ASL. Click HERE to watch videos.
Arizona DEMA Emergency Preparedness ASL Videos:
This series of videos was created by the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) and the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH), and focuses on a 4-step plan for emergency preparedness: Plan (listed above), Prepare (listed above), Inquire, and Inspire. They also include videos on preparing for potential hazards in Arizona, including flooding, wildfires, and in the case of an accident at the Palo Verde nuclear plant.
These videos range from 3 to 8 minutes long and include plenty of information on each topic. The 4-step videos would be very helpful in preparing for an emergency situation, and the disaster-specific videos give useful information to understand what to do in specific emergencies. Topics of emergencies are limited to those experienced in Arizona. Click HERE to watch videos.
DEAF Inc.'s Emergency Preparedness Videos:
This video series was created by DEAF Inc. in Missouri, and has 4 videos on creating an emergency kit, preparing for a tornado, preparing for a flood, and preparing for an earthquake.
These videos range between 12 and 13 minutes long, but contain a lot of helpful information on each topic. No sound included, but there is a script along with the ASL, for those who prefer to read. For preparing an emergency kit and knowing what to do in the case of a tornado/flood/earthquake, they are worth the extra time spent to watch them. Click HERE to watch videos.
DEAF Inc.'s Emergency Kit Preparedness Video:
This 12-minute video from the DEAF Inc.’s Emergency Preparedness series shows how to pack an emergency kit, explaining what items should be in the kit as well as what items could also be helpful. It is in ASL, with English subtitles, but no voiceover.
This video goes into a lot of detail and provides solid explanations for why each item is recommended for an emergency kit, but it is also longer than the others. No sound-over, but does still provide a script on the screen for those who prefer to read. It includes an in-depth list of things to include in a disaster emergency preparedness kit … things like sunscreen, bug spray, bleach, paper plates, a wrench, a flare gun, etc. It may be a bit too much for impatient viewers.
IDHHC Emergency Preparedness ASL Videos:
This video series was created by the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), and go through emergency preparedness steps to take before and during an emergency. Videos range from over a minute to 8 minutes, and cover topics such as kit building, sheltering in place, and evacuation planning. There are also videos that cover what to do in the case of tornados, severe thunderstorms and lightning, and flooding.
Lots of good information, with explanations for why each recommendation is made. The script is slower than the spoken and signed information, which could make it confusing. Quality of the videos makes it seem as if they may be older, but the information does not seem to be overly dated. Click HERE to watch videos.
ASL Emergency Preparedness Videos:
These videos were created by the Northeast Texas Public Health District, and are organized into their own playlist on a YouTube channel called Preparedness4Deaf, specifically for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. They cover a wide range of topics, from basic first aid, to hurricane/tornado/flooding preparedness, to other types of hazards for which to prepare. They vary widely in length, depending on the topic – some topics include coping with disasters and creating a family emergency information list.
These include topics not found in some of the other ASL series and could be helpful for filling in gaps elsewhere. Some of them are very long, however, and finding time to watch them may be difficult.
Sign Language for First Responders (Evacuate):
Simple, 3-minute video that shows first responders key words in American Sign Language (ASL) that would be helpful in communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing in an evacuation. Words include emergency, help, wait, go, sit, let’s communicate through writing, etc. Overall a well-done video. She repeats the signs a few times to help ingrain them in your head and points out how signs are different if they are similar to one another.
American Sign Language Emergency Preparedness:
This DVD was part of an ASL emergency preparedness video project by SignwithMe and is available for $29.99 in a couple of locations, including on the Harris Communications website. It is a series of videos 4-16 minutes in length, totaling 33 minutes. The first video of the series is available on their Facebook page: ASL Emergency Preparedness Video Project - Video 1: Introduction.
Based on the first video of the series, it seems that the information could be helpful. Unlike in other videos, this series appears to be more dynamic – there are multiple presenters featured in the video and on the team list, and they are shown interacting with one another. Given the availability of free resources online, the cost might drive some people away; however, some posts on the Facebook page indicate that these DVDs may be available for free to members of the deaf and hard of hearing community. For those community members who prefer a TV format to online videos, this could be a good option.
COVID-19 ASL VIDEO SERIES
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Extra Precautions for People with Disabilities
Extra Precautions for People at Risk of Severe Illness
Washing Your Hands
School Planning In-Person Learning
School Planning Remote Learning
Planning Outings and Visits