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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.

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) (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)

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

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:  Functional Needs Public Health Workbook (PDF)

Ready.gov: Get A Kit  (http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html)

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

Keep It With You (KIWY) Personal Medication Information Sheet - English (PDF)

Keep It With You (KIWY) Personal Medication Information Sheet - Spanish (PDF)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:  H1N1 Information for People with Disabilities and their Caregivers  (http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DisabilitiesH1N1)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:  H1N1 (Swine Flu): Resources for People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing  (http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/deaf.htm)

Disability.gov:  Connecting the Disability Community to Information & Opportunities  (http://www.disability.gov)

Flu.gov:  People with Disabilities  (http://www.pandemicflu.gov/individualfamily/helathconditions/disabilities/index.html)

Ready.gov:  People with Disabilities and Other Special Needs (http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/disabled.html)

Accessible Emergency Information  http://www.accessibleemergencyinfo.com/aslvideos.html

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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