In the wake of Hurrican Katrina, there has been significant Federal efforts to address disaster and emergency situations impacting individuals with disabilities or other special needs.  Three helpful websites and guides to be aware of include those developed by Disability.gov, the American Red Cross/Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and the ADA National Network. 

The disability.gov website developed the Guide to Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery with many resources and extensive information to assist individuals with disabilities, their families and communities to address natural or man-made emergency situations.  The American Red Cross and U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA have co-authored a guide - Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs.

Natural disasters and other types of emergencies can happen at any time. They might be man-made, such as a chemical spill, or weather-related, such as a tornado or hurricane, but whatever the cause, it’s important for people with disabilities to be prepared. The disability.gpv guide helps people with disabilities and their families and caregivers prepare for emergencies. It also includes information about the importance of including people with disabilities in preparing for emergencies.

Mobility problems and hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities can add complication during emergency situations. It is important to plan ahead so individuals, families and communities are better prepared for any urgent situation. The American Red Cross and FEMA booklet Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs gives tips on getting informed, making a plan, assembling a kit, and keeping your plans up to date These tips provide people with disabilities and their caregivers with guidance in managing communications, equipment, pets and home hazards. 

 The ADA National Network also hosts resources and information, including a number of webinars conducted by them and/or FEMA, on their website. 

Please click on Related Content to access the disability.gov, American Red Cross, and ADA National Network websites.