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Access & Functional Needs Populations

When preparing for disasters it is important to identify and assist populations that may have additional needs.  These populations have been termed “Special Needs”, "Vulnerable", or “At-Risk”.  For our purposes, we refer to these populations as “Functional Needs” Populations.

Individuals that comprise “Functional Needs” Populations may include: infants and young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with weakened immune systems or chronic health impairments or those that do not speak English as their primary language.  It is important if you, or someone you know has additional daily needs, that you prepare in advance to ensure these needs are met in times of disaster.

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 “Functional Needs” Populations.  This includes planning and identifying partners and resources for Assistance in Daily Living activities (ADL’s), mobility equipment, communication devices and language interpreters (including American Sign Language).  In addition, a Task Force has been developed to bridge the gap between the “Functional Needs” communities and emergency planning communities.  The Task Force developed a guidance and resource template to help local emergency planners, specifically Emergency Support Function (ESF) #6 - Mass Care, Housing and Human Services Annex partners, prepare for populations with functional needs.

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:  

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

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

OSDH Resources

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)

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

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

Functional Needs Contacts 2012  (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)

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

Additional Resources

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:  www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs

For Families:   http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7046

For Senior Citizens:  http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7050

For Pet Owners:  http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7048

For Native American Nations and/or Tribes:  http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7051

For Military Families:  http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7049

For People with Disabilities and other Access and Functional Needs: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/78827

Spanish Emergency Video:  http://www.ready.gov/translations/spanish/america/about/psa.html & http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7047

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

Flu Information for 2013

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)

For additional information, you may contact 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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