Disaster Readiness Tips for Individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities

What you Need to Do

Get Informed

  • Learn about types of hazards (snow, thunderstorm, flood, fire, earthquake, tornado, medical, man-made [terrorism, toxic spills, explosions, civil disorder, etc.])
  • Find out what emergency plans are available
  • Learn how you will be notified (community warning systems, employer, friends, neighbors)
  • Learn how you will be impacted by these hazards
Identify My Resources
  • Conduct a personal assessment (what & who I rely on regularly and how a disaster would affect my links with them)
  • What can you do for yourself?
  • What assistance will you need?
  • Who can help me?
Create an Emergency Plan
  • Create a personal support network (2-3 people you can count on to help you at work, home and other places you go to on a frequent basis. Work with them to develop your plan.
  • Consider what you do daily to deal with power outages, transportation delays, breakdowns, etc., and use this in developing how you would cope with larger disasters.
  • Create a communication plan. How will you get an alert and information? Who will you need to contact?
  • Make an evacuation plan. Identify a primary and secondary way to evacuate your residence or other buildings you go to often and the assistive devices/transportation will you need.
Plan for Different Ways to Shelter
  • Consider do you stay where you are or go elsewhere
  • Consider are their friends, family or others that you can stay with you
  • Consider how a public shelter could meet your demands
Plan for Special Assistance/Regular Services
  • If you receive special assistance/regular services (home healthcare, transportation, personal care equipment, electric-dependent equipment, etc.), make plans with service providers and locations/availability in other facilities.
  • Contact city, county, township emergency management offices/fire departments. Many local offices keep lists of people with functional needs so they can be assisted in an emergency.
  • If you live at home, give someone in your support network a key to your home or apartment.
  • If you have assistive devices, show others in your support network how to operate it.
  • Consider having on-hand and with others in your support network, a list of medications with dosages & medical devises you need, and a list doctors, relative & friends, and insurance information in case you are hurt or need assistance.
Assemble Your Emergency Kits
  • Disaster Supply/Emergency Ready Kit – maintain a comprehensive collection of supplies necessary to self sustain for at least three days to two weeks (up to one month or more in a pandemic)
  • Go Bag – a bag with the most essential supplies to take with you if you need to leave immediately
Maintain Your Plan & Emergency Kits
  • Update your plan as things change or you get new information
  • Keep in mind that you will need to rotate your supplies as many items have limited shelf lives.