Preparedness for People with Disabilities
People with disabilities are often at greater risk during an emergency situation, but Fire Corps can play an important role in assisting these individuals in preparing for emergencies. The information below offers ideas for how Fire Corps can better serve those with special needs and help them prepare for natural or man made disasters.
- Gather data to help emergency responders locate individuals with disabilities in your community.
- Designate Fire Corps members to periodically check on community members with disabilities in order to assess their needs and provide updated information to their neighbors as well as the local fire/EMS department.
- Fundraise to help departments acquire necessary equipment to respond to those with special needs.
- Install hearing-impaired smoke alarms where needed.
- Work with your department and other emergency organizations within the community to create an evacuation plan for those with disabilities.
- Make your community aware of the needs of those with disabilities in the event of an emergency.
- Educate the neighbors of people with disabilities about actions they need to undertake in the event of a fire or evacuation.
- Create and distribute disaster supply kits specifically tailored to those with special needs.
Fire Corps Opportunities for People with Disabilities and Special Needs
People with disabilities who serve as volunteers in local Fire Corps programs are a great asset and can provide a unique perspective on the specific needs those with disabilities require in times of crisis. These individuals are vital members of their Fire Corps teams and can perform an unlimited number of Fire Corps tasks. These activities include, but are not limited to:
- Grant Writing
- Data Entry
- Membership Recruitment
- Event Planning
- Website Development
- Public Fire and Life Safety Education
- Public Relations
- Incident Reporting
- Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services
- Youth Mentoring
- Answering Phones and Administrative Duties
To become involved in your local Fire Corps program, visit http://www.firecorps.org and help to keep your community safer, stronger, and better prepared.
Additional Links and Resources
The links below provide further information to help your community and local department assist individuals with disabilities and other special needs prepare for emergency situations.
Provides a detailed list of several steps individuals with disabilities can take in order to prepare for an emergency and ensure their safety.
- National Organization on Disability
Provides information to the general public concerning disability awareness through a number of programs.
Provides practical information for people with and without disabilities to prepare for an emergency. Also includes tips for emergency managers and responders regarding their role ensuring the safety of individuals with disabilities.
- An ADA Guide for Local Governments
Provides information about making community emergency preparedness and response programs accessible to people with disabilities. Utilize this guide when working with your local department.
- Disaster Readiness Tips for People with Sensory Disabilities
Provides tips and additional resources for individuals with sensory disabilities such as blindness and deafness.
- Disaster Readiness Tips for People with Mobility Disabilities
Provides tips and additional resources for individuals with mobility disabilities, such as those who are wheel chair dependent.
- Preparing for Disater for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs (Red Cross)
Provides tips on getting informed, making a plan, assembling a kit, and maintaining these plans for people with mobility problems or who have hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities.
- NOAA Weather Radio
Provides general information on how to use the NOAA Weather Radio as an alerting tool for the hearing impaired, as well as information to help others with special needs.
- U.S. Department of Transportation
Provides detailed information of the assistance people with disabilities require during emergencies.
- National Fire Protection Agency
Provides an informative planning guide for individuals with disabilities in emergency situations.