When planning for emergencies, responding to disasters or engaging in Business Continuity Operations, careful consideration must be given to those individuals who have access and functional needs.
One-size-fits-all style of planning often leaves out those who have difficulty in adapting to the rapidly changing situation brought about by emergencies.
For example, someone who is visually impaired will not be able to react to visual cues such as strobe lights, signs or electronic media messages. However, they may be able to react to verbal cues. This is in contrast to someone who is hearing impaired who often cannot react to verbal cues, but may be able to react to visual cues. Thus, in the PREPARING stage of emergency planning, a good Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment must be conducted in order to understand what access and functional needs persons are affected by the planning process.
The PLANNING stage of emergency management should entail working with persons who work with the identified access or functional needs, as well as with those individuals themeslves in order to understand what can and cannot work, and what the organization can support.
Resilience International are experienced in:
Emergency Preparedness Resources for persons with Special Needs
For information on resources for persons with disabilities please contact the National Organization on Disabilities at: http://nod.org/