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Posted on: September 14, 2021

September is National Preparedness Month #14- Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities

cartoon of a person with disabilities and caregiver

September is National Preparedness Month. This month we will be sending out regular posts about things you can do in your home to be prepared if an emergency or disaster occurs.

 #14- Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Disability intersects every demographic group—there are people with disabilities of all ages, races, genders, or national origin. And, disabilities can impact a person in a variety of ways—both visible and invisible. For people with disabilities and their families, it is important to consider individual circumstances and needs to effectively prepare for emergencies and disasters. 

FEMA has an Office of Disability Integration and Coordination. Learn about what they do here- https://www.fema.gov/about/offices/disability

Learn about personal preparedness tips for people with disabilities in the event of a disaster. This video emphasizes the Ready Campaign’s four building blocks of preparedness - Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved. 


  • When building a kit, people with disabilities should consider the items they use daily, as well as life-sustaining items. www.ready.gov/disability
  • Wheelchair user? Add spare tires and an air compressor to your emergency kit to make sure you can stay mobile in the event of an emergency.  https://youtu.be/ZJynUNkrKRg
  • Vision loss? Make sure your plan includes the location of the nearest accessible public transportation, a hospital, and emergency services. https://youtu.be/qRKTHhT_bcA
  • Hard of hearing? Put a fully-charged portable cell phone charger in your kit so you can communicate in case of an emergency. https://youtu.be/oDDvOwuiVzc
  • Autistic? Register with the HTPD for Hopewell S.A.F.E
  • Over 55 and live alone? Register with the HTPD for Operation Blue Angel
  • Depend on Social Security or other benefits? Switch to electronic payments.
  • Be sure you have a support network of people who can help you in a disaster. Keep a contact list in your emergency kit and on your electronic device.
  • Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting around during or after a disaster.
  • Many city and county emergency management agencies maintain voluntary registries for people with disabilities to self-identify in order to receive targeted assistance during emergencies and disasters. Contact your local emergency management office to find out more.
  • If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor or health care provider about how to keep it running during a power outage. You can also ask your power provider to put you on a list for priority power restoration.

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