Resources for Cal E-Prep

Preparedness Resources

Easy-to-access resources that focus on emergency and disaster readiness for vulnerable populations.  

The following are some of the resources developed by federal organizations that can be used to develop disability inclusive emergency preparedness and response plans.

Nobody Left Behind is the result of a three-year study to investigate 30 county level or equivalent emergency management sites across the United States that had experienced a recent disaster. The researchers aimed to determine the readiness of these sites to assist persons with mobility limitations during disasters.

Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs is a booklet from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross that helps people with disabilities prepare for all kinds of emergencies. It includes information on what you need to prepare for daily living, getting around, and evacuating during an emergency.

Effective Emergency Preparedness Planning for Employers is a website that includes resources related to workplace emergency preparedness and the needs of employees with disabilities. It includes some information on legal considerations, gathering information, and suggestions to keep in mind when developing, implementing, and maintaining a workplace emergency plan.

Guidance on Integrating People with Access and Functional Needs into Disaster Preparedness Planning for States and Local Governments

This website will introduce and connect you to available resources and inclusive strategies for integrating the access and functional needs of at-risk individuals into emergency preparedness, response, and recovery planning at all jurisdictional levels.

Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Management for Individuals with Disabilities

This 39 page collection of research reviews explores the topic of emergency and disaster preparedness, and emergency management that is inclusive of individuals with disabilities. Emergencies and natural disasters can strike without warning, forcing people to quickly leave or be confined in their home. For the approximately 57 million people with disabilities, emergencies, such as fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados, and acts of terrorism can present a real challenge.

Planning ahead and being prepared for evacuation or sheltering in place is particularly important for individuals with access and functional needs. Individuals with access and functional needs include but are not limited to children and adults with physical, sensory, intellectual, developmental, cognitive or mental disabilities; older adults; individuals with chronic or temporary health conditions; and women in late stages of pregnancy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Workbook: To Define, Locate, and Reach Special, Vulnerable, and At-risk Populations in an Emergency: This CDC workbook is intended to provide public health and emergency preparedness planners with better ways to communicate health and emergency information to at-risk individuals with access and functional needs, for all-hazards events, through step-by-step instructions, resources guides and templates.

Resources for First Responders and Emergency Personnel 

Tips for First Responders – Center on Disability Studies. Downloadable. Includes seniors, people with service animals, who are deaf/hearing impaired, blind/visually impaired, mentally ill, chemical sensitivities, cognitive impairments, infants, pregnant women, seizure disorders, brain injuries.

Capacity Building Toolkit for Including Aging and Disability Networks in Emergency Planning: This Toolkit serves as a comprehensive resource to help aging and disability networks to increase their ability to plan for and respond to emergencies and disasters. It provides extensive detail regarding: early planning, preparedness planning, public health emergencies, identifying people in need, effective communication strategies, evacuation and transportation needs, sheltering and housing needs, advocacy and recovery.. Organizations currently engaged in emergency planning could use this Toolkit to avoid reinventing any wheels and to expand and improve their capabilities. It includes  curricula, exercises and links to additional resources.

Identifying Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Options for Increasing Their Protection During All-Hazards Emergencies

The goal of this guide is to provide information and resources for organizations and service providers that specialize in supporting vulnerable older adults. Older adults are a diverse group in terms of their physical and mental health, and vulnerability cannot be characterized by age alone. There are many overarching considerations when working with this population and a long list of agencies that are able to help. Being able to identify who needs help, which organizations or resources are most appropriate, what level of hazard and emergency is taking place, and then developing appropriate plans can make a huge difference in outcomes.

Overcoming Communication Barriers in Emergency Situations: Some Basic Tools

This guide contains a selection of some of the more common communication tools that first response personnel can use to facilitate communication while in the field.

Download the guide HERE

Does Your Organization Have a Disaster Plan?

Disasters can happen anywhere, and at any time. Many of these disasters can have a significant impact on your organization, your constituents, your employees and their families, and the community you serve. This guide will help with advance planning and creating a disaster plan.

Download the guide HERE

Topic Boards / Vocabulary Resources

Emergency Checklist: This checklist is for individuals who have limited speech. It will help them to communicate in an emergency, and also includes a graphic on what can or is included in their Go Bag.

Vocabulary Set – Emergency Preparedness: This website contains vocabulary sets and downloadable emergency communication aids.

Emergency Preparedness Narrative: A child-centered narrative on the process of preparing a kit for emergencies.

Communication Passport for Accidents and Emergencies: This color-coded card system allows individuals with learning disabilities and/or other communication related special needs to inform others of things they must have, things that are important to them, and their likes and dislikes.

Emergency Communication for All (EC4All) app: This website provides information on an app called EC4All. It is a voice output direct selection and symbolic communicator program designed for use by individuals with communication, cognitive, learning, developmental or speech disabilities, or autism.

Show Me – A Communication Tool for Emergency Shelters: This website describes and provides information on how to get the Show Me suite of tools, including a free booklet, and two apps. The booklet is meant to help individuals arriving at a shelter to communicate on a range of topics; from check-in, to medicine, to food, to describing what happened to their home. The app has similar topics, but also includes emergency dispensing sites (EDS) and door-to-door outreach required for shelter-in place or evacuation directives. 

Free Tools for Communicating During Disasters and Emergencies:

Download the kit HERE.

First responders can now access a rapidly growing body of free and downloadable communication boards, communication tip guides and mobile apps that are useful in overcoming communication barriers in a wide variety of emergency settings, from emergency shelters, to emergency rooms, to ambulances, to trauma centers, etc. This resource outlines several downloadable paper resources and free mobile apps for I-Phone and Android. The communication boards can be printed on stiff card stock or laminated for longevity. They include English, Spanish, ASL, and other language resources for people with communication needs. The free Apps include ways to contact important family members, doctors, etc, in addition to providing images and phrases that help individuals communicate their needs and wants. There is a translation app that can help first responders communicate in multiple languages, as well as an alert based app that shares information on emergency events, news and alerts.

Personal Preparedness

FEMA: The Emergency Management Institute supports the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s goals by improving the competencies of the U.S. officials in Emergency Management at all levels of government to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the potential effects of all types of disasters and emergencies on the American people. This link leads to information on a range of programs and training opportunities.

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD): NVOAD is an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. This page gives information on the organization, how to help, and about member organizations.

Downloadable checklist: Learn how to build a disaster kit that will help you survive for at least 72 hours. There is also information on how and where to store your kit. 

Mi Pasaporte de Salud:

This four-page healthcare passport includes information and visuals to help Spanish speakers communicate their needs and preferences in an emergency. However, the visual aids are clear enough to also help non-Spanish speakers understand the passport holder´s needs. Some of the information present includes: biographical information, language ability, important medical information, daily requirements and preferences. There are also sections for preferred activities and how to make future appointments.

Ready for Disaster: Plan ahead for thunderstorms, flooding, power outages, severe weather, extreme heat, active shooters, and tornadoes. Learn how to get involved and make sure you are financially prepared for an emergency.

Making a Go-bag: This is an easy how-to guide that includes both pictures and descriptions. The guide includes what to put in a Go Bag and where to store it.

Emergency Readiness Plan: This readiness plan template includes space for medications and other health care needs, as well as information on specific ailments or disabilities. It can be customized to the person in need. There is also information and checklists related to emergency readiness. 

General Resources for People with Disabilities:

The Partnership for inclusive Disaster Strategies (PiDS). Disaster Strategies. Inclusive disaster planning and emergency preparedness for people with disabilities and others who also have access and functional needs (older adults, people with limited English proficiency or low literacy, people with temporary health conditions, pregnant women, etc.).

Pass it On Center. National AT Reuse Center that assists people during /after a disaster to gain access to lost/damaged durable medical equipment/assistive technology. 

Portlight’s Disaster Survivors with Disabilities National Hotline (800) 626-4959. A place to go for people with disabilities involved in a disaster to go for assistance.

More information to come!