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Access & Functional Needs Populations

When preparing for disasters it is important to identify and assist populations that may have Access and Functional needs.  Individuals that comprise of “Access and Functional Needs” Populations are the following: infants and young children, women in late stages of pregnancy, aging populations, people with weakened immune systems or chronic health conditions, people who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language,  people without transportation, people with visual or mobility disabilities, people who are hard-of-hearing, people who are Deaf, and people that do not speak English as their primary language.  It is important for everyone to prepare for emergencies, especially people with Access and Functional Needs.

Planning Efforts

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is committed to working with state, local, county, profit and non-profit agencies to assist and provide guidance in emergency response for “Access and Functional Needs” Populations.  This includes planning, identification of partners, and resources for Assistance in Daily Living activities (ADL’s), durable medical equipment (dme), communication support devices, foreign language interpreters, and certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters.  The Oklahoma State Department of Health leads a Functional Assessment Support Team that is called (FAST). The Functional Assessment Support Team (FAST) is comprised of subject matter experts and partners that assist in the care of people with Access and Functional Needs during state and local emergencies.

Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs

Winter Weather Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Now is the time to prepare for winter weather.

People with disabilities may need to take additional precautions in order to be ready for expected and unexpected winter weather events.  First, get a kit.  Make sure your kit includes warm clothing, blankets, food, water, a flashlight, and small shovel, salt or sand, and additional blankets and supplies for service animals and pets.  Try to obtain an emergency supply of medications and medical supplies in case travel becomes hazardous. 

Remember that cold weather can stress respiratory and circulatory systems, making it more difficult to travel or complete tasks that require physical exertion. 

Additional winter weather tips for people with disabilities: 

Centers for Disease control and prevention: Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote your Personal Health and Safety: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/guide.asp

Fairfax County, VA: People with Disabilities-Winter Preparedness Tips: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/winter/winter-people-with-disabilities.htm

NDAD Blog – Winter Weather and People with Disabilities: http://ndad.areavoices.com/2012/10/04/winter-weather-checklist-provides-planning-guide-for-people-with-disabilities-health-challenges/

Ready.gov Winter Stores and Extreme Cold Preparedness Tips: http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

OSDH Resources

Children Resource Guide 2014 (PDF)

Emergency Preparedness Guide For People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision (PDF)

Family Emergency Preparedness Plan Workbook Acronyms Translation - Spanish (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions on Access and Functional Needs Populations 2014 (PDF)

Functional Needs Contacts 2012  (PDF) (Word)

Functional Needs Emergency Preparedness Plan:  Workbook for Those with Functional Needs  (PDF)  (Word)

Functional Needs Emergency Preparedness Plan:  Workbook for Those with Functional Needs - Spanish (PDF) (Word)

Functional Needs Guidance and Resource Book (PDF)  (Word)  

Functional Needs Populations & Emergency Preparedness Education:  Questions & Answers (PDF)

Poblaciones con Necesidades Funcionales & Educación de Preparación en Caso de Emergencias:  Preguntas & Respuestas (PDF)


Access and Functional Needs Educational Videos (click here for OSDH YouTube Channel) 

ASL, English (audio), and Highlighted Text-

Family Emergency Plan (click here)

Go Bag (click here)

Winter Storms (click here)


ASL, Spanish (audio), and Highlighted Text-

Family Emergency Plan (click here)

Go Bag (click here)

Winter Storms (click here)


Additional Resources

ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments:  Chapter 7
Emergency Management under Title II of the ADA (PDF)

    Title II Checklist (Emergency Management) (PDF)

    ADA and Emergency Shelters: Access for All in Emergencies and Disasters (PDF)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention-Public Health Workbook: To Define, Locate, and Reach Special, Vulnerable, and At-risk Populations in an Emergency:  http://www.bt.cdc.gov/workbook/pdf/ph workbookFINAL.pdf

Listo.gov: Prepare un Equipo: http://www.listo.gov/america/getakit/index.html

CDC's Keep It With You (KIWY) Personal Medication Information Sheet - English: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/pdf/kiwy.pdf

Keep It With You (KIWY)-Mantenga con Usted (Forma de Información Médica Personal) - Spanish (PDF)

Individuals With Access & Functional Needs:  

For Families:   

"Ready" Instructional Videos (English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL))

Flu Information for 2013

For additional information, you may contact Glenda Ford-Lee, MHR,  the Statewide At-Risk Populations Coordinator with the Emergency Preparedness and Response Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health at 405-271-0900 or Click Here to send an email.


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