What Role Special Needs Populations Play or Should Play in Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts
Registries vary in form, but in theory they all attempt to collect in one place the names, locations and contact information of people in a given area or jurisdiction who are likely to need assistance in evacuation, sheltering and care during major emergencies or disasters.
Specifically, this document should aid in developing an evacuation plan that includes the coordination of transportation resources to meet the requirements of people with special needs. The uS Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Federal highway Administration (FhWA) has developed the Routes to Effective Evacuation Planning Primer Series to address various aspects of emergency transportation and evacuation. This primer focuses on special needs populations who require assistance during a local or multi-jurisdictional emergency evacuation. The primer series, as a whole, captures and catalogues transportation management and operations advancements that can improve evacuation planning and operations.
All facilities chosen for purposes of conducting an exercise should be accessible to ensure that players, observers, staff, and the public will be able to fully participate and receive any necessary services. If facilities are not accessible, special needs issues cannot be incorporated into planning, response or recovery – whether a drill or real life response.
The Association of Schools of Public Health, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, convened a national network of Centers to join a Collaboration Group, Preparedness Education for Vulnerable Populations, whose work produced two documents designed to enhance the ability of public health and emergency management practitioners to define, locate, and reach vulnerable populations effectively and protect them in the event of an emergency.
American Red Cross, Frequently Asked Questions, retrieved January 17, 2005
Byrnes, Michael & Davis, Elizabeth (2005). Preparedness for All: Why Including People with Disabilities in Drills is a Learning Tool: Interagency Chemical Exercise (I.C.E). International Association of Emergency Managers Bulletin, April vol. 22 (4) 7-8.
California State Independent Living Council, 2004, retrieved on May 25, 2005. The Impact of 2003 Wildfires on People with Disabilities, April 1, 2004.