Standard Guide for Community Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities
4.1 This guide provides recommendations for the local or regional AHJ to use in dealing with persons with disabilities who reside within their area of responsibility or jurisdiction. It provides information that can support development of procedures and protocols in preparing for the impact of emergencies on persons with disabilities, and it includes recommendations addressing such actions as:
4.1.1 Notification—Alerts and warnings for the general public of a pending emergency, and any additional provisions that may be necessary to assure that persons with disabilities are able to receive the message(s).
4.1.2 Communications—Information dissemination to the community, including provisions for persons with disabilities so that they are able to receive and respond.
4.1.3 Preparation—Ensuring that the community knows about the risks and dangers inherent in emergencies and the necessity for personal planning.
4.1.4 Action and Mitigation—Steps that should be taken when an emergency becomes imminent, and planning in advance how to minimize its impact on the community.
4.1.5 Evacuation—The process of relocating to a safer area to avoid or lessen the risks associated with an emergency. Generally, evacuation actions are initiated or recommended by local emergency management officials.
4.1.6 Transportation—Transportation applies to all persons who need to evacuate or relocate in advance of or during an emergency. It may include transportation on his or her own, through a neighbor, a volunteer who can assist, or public conveyances that can be used in an emergency.
4.1.7 Accommodation—Designated centers or shelters that the local citizens can use in an emergency, and any additional provisions that are made for addressing the needs of those with disabilities.
4.1.8 Relocation—Facilities where residents can evacuate to before and during an emergency. It may also provide temporary lodging for residents following an event if their homes are in an unsafe area or no longer habitable.
4.1.9 Restoration—The resumption of normalcy following an emergency.
4.2 The AHJ should assign a person to the OEM with responsibility for coordinating and otherwise implementing protocols and procedures for persons with disabilities. This individual should be identified as the OEM Disabilities Coordinator. The functions assigned to the Coordinator should include:
4.2.1 Establishing and leading a team of volunteers who are trained in assisting persons with disabilities, and who can support their integration into the planning and preparedness process.
4.2.2 Establishing a small team of volunteers with disabilities to serve as a panel or group of subject matter experts to provide advice and guidance on issues surrounding persons with disabilities in emergency situations.
4.2.3 Establishing an agreement, pact, contract, or other binding document with other jurisdictions to provide mutual aid or assistance in dealing with persons with disabilities should it become necessary before, during, or following an emergency.
4.2.4 The following key concerns should be addressed by individual teams dedicated to the specific areas indicated. However, due to staffing limitations, OEMs may not have the necessary resources needed to establish the number of individual teams listed. In those instances, the OEM should combine efforts, creating fewer teams, but at the same time making sure that the different areas are covered as fully as possible. The OEM should also consider calling upon social service agencies to provide some of the support in those instances when staffing limitations prevent OEM from doing so. The recommended teams are listed below:
188.8.131.52 Alert and Notification Team—Working in close coordination with officials involved in local incident command, public information dissemination and other appropriate staff in the emergency response chain of command, the Alert and Notification Team would assist in:
184.108.40.206 Communications team—As an essential element of the alert and notification process, and to facilitate initial and ongoing communications, this team would consist of volunteers well versed in the various communications methods for persons with disabilities in order to communicate with them as quickly as possible before and during an emergency. The Communications Team leadership should focus on the following actions and activities:
220.127.116.11 Advance Preparations Team—The central focus of this team would be to organize support for persons with disabilities. This would include providing plans and preparations for those who are mobile as well as those who are confined to their home or an institution, such as an independent living center. This volunteer support effort may include an individual to provide initial assistance and a caregiver to render more comprehensive aid as appropriate.
18.104.22.168 Action Mitigation Team—This team should work to ensure that mitigating actions are identified and executed in advance of an emergency in order to minimize the effect on persons with disabilities. The team should work with communities, first responders, law enforcement, and caregivers to identify those actions that need to be taken to help mitigate the harmful effects of the event.
22.214.171.124 Evacuation Team—Before an emergency occurs, the Evacuation Team should assist in urging all citizens, and in particular those with disabilities, to relocate because of the dangers that may be forthcoming. In doing so, the team would also assist local first responders and law enforcement personnel in making sure that the local citizens were made aware of evacuation orders and procedures.
126.96.36.199 Transportation Team—In advance of a disaster or emergency, and working with local emergency response officials, the Transportation Team should be responsible for assuring that persons with disabilities are transported to a safer location such as a shelter or, after an event, to temporary locations where they can receive the necessary care and support.
188.8.131.52 Accommodation Team—This team, which may also be identified as a “shelter team,” should ensure an integrated relocation environment consisting of services such as short and long term sheltering, information intake, processing, and necessities to keep persons with disabilities connected with support systems. The team should focus on items such as:
184.108.40.206 Relocation Team—This team, which should consist of volunteers, would be prepared to implement the following services for people with disabilities:
220.127.116.11 Restoration Team—This team, also identified possibly as a “transition team,” should consist of volunteers who would assist persons with disabilities in adjusting to the post-emergency environment. This could include:
1.1 This guide is intended to be used by an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to initiate preparedness efforts that address issues that the disability community have faced in past emergencies and systematically coupling them with methodologies that will help communities enhance their chances for survival.
1.2 This guide does not purport to address all of the elements necessary to prepare for an emergency. It is the responsibility of the user (AHJ) of this guide to establish applicable protocols, procedures, systems, and other means to support the health, safety, and well being of persons with disabilities.
1.3 This guide is intended to provide templates for applicable protocols, procedures, systems, and other mechanisms to promote an integrated approach in local “preparedness” efforts for persons with disabilities. It is intended to complement the planning and preparedness efforts of local emergency responders—Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs) and Offices of Emergency Management (OEM)—for persons with disabilities.
1.4 This guide is not intended to supersede or replace extant Federal, Tribal, State, or local policies, regulations, laws, or criteria, or standards and guides produced by any other entity, such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
1.5 This guide is intended for an AHJ, whether a governmental agency, non-profit, private organization, or other entity involved in the preparedness planning for persons with disabilities.
1.6 This guide recognizes that the ADA addresses all services and facilities pertinent to the access and care of persons with disabilities, including those associated with emergencies. It also recognizes that the Stafford Act and Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, along with Federal, State, and Local Civil Rights Laws, mandate integration, inclusion, coordination, and non-segregation for people with disabilities in emergency programs, services, and activities.
1.7 This guide is intended to assist those involved in emergency preparedness for persons with disabilities in order to help them better understand the concepts of accessibility and equal opportunity in such important areas as alert and notification, evacuation, shelter management, etc., before, during, and after an event.
1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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