Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is: As a person with a disability, how can I better prepare for emergency situations and what can organizations do to better assist me during an emergency or disaster? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss inclusive wireless technologies related to emergency preparation; PM-Prep, a disaster preparedness program; children with special needs and emergency preparation; the inclusion of people with disabilities in emergency preparation and management; and psychological support during emergencies and disasters. More about Answered Questions.
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (90RE5025) (English) creates and promotes inclusive wireless technologies that improve the ability of people with disabilities to independently perform and participate in activities of their choosing, including being included in emergency preparedness. The project also works with industry, government, and disability stakeholders to raise awareness about the adoption of accessible solutions for wireless connected technologies, including the accessibility of Wireless Emergency Alert messages. Outcomes for this project include the adoption of regulatory policies that increase accessible emergency alerts over multiple platforms.
From the NARIC Collection:
The article, Peer-mentored preparedness (PM-Prep): A new disaster preparedness program for adults living independently in the community (J68459) (English), describes a study that implemented and tested Peer-Mentored Prep, a health promotion program designed to improve the disaster preparedness among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living independently in the community. PM-Prep consists of four 2-hour classes co-taught by a health educator and peer mentors. Researchers found that participants in the program increased their emergency preparation and knowledge after participating in the classes.
Emergency Preparation for Children with Special Needs is a two-hour course from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (English) and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (English) for childcare providers and directors that provides information on how to create childcare programs that are prepared for emergencies and disasters and that include children with disabilities and other special needs. The course shows how to create and practice an evacuation plan that incorporates the needs of children with disabilities, create and document notice and communication procedures, and create a space for supplies that include the needs of children with disabilities.
Disability, natural disasters, and emergency situations, an article from the United Nations, discusses the need of including people with disabilities in the planning and management of disasters. It also discusses Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and how it relates to emergency planning and people with disabilities. The article ends with a discussion of research that shows that including people with disabilities in all stages of emergency planning and the management of disasters helps to significantly reduce the vulnerability of people with disabilities.
For the Community:
The practical guide, Psychosocial support in emergencies and disasters, was produced by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization to help detect and anticipate problems and strengths in communities when assisting people with disabilities and older members of the community during emergencies and disasters. The guide was designed as an easy to use tool and application for emergency response teams, primary health care teams, and those people, institutions, or organizations that assist in providing emergency care and humanitarian aid.
- NARIC’s Spotlight Blog includes several posts that look at research and resources from the NIDILRR community and beyond to help everyone prepare before an emergency (English) and to recover psychologically (English) and physically after an emergency (English). The posts are also available in Spanish: Prepare before an emergency, psychological recovery after an emergency, and physical recovery after an emergency.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Red Cross in the US have developed a fact sheet, Disaster preparedness for people with disabilities and other special needs, which discusses what people with disabilities and their loved ones can do to prepare for emergencies. The factsheet includes information on making a plan that includes service animals, preparing for different types of disasters, and checklists that can be used during an emergency. FEMA also has an information sheet, Preparation makes sense for people with disabilities and special needs, which provides information on creating a simple supply kit, creating a plan, and staying informed.
- The Office of the Secretary of Civil Protection of Mexico City, FD, has created a guide, A General Guide for the Prevention of and Preparedness in Emergency Situations for Persons with Disabilities, which provides information on the inclusion of people with disabilities in emergency preparedness for service providers and provides general procedures to include, support, and assist people with disabilities during a disaster.
- The Oregon Health & Science University (English) has developed a toolkit, Ready Now! Emergency Preparedness Tool Kit for People with Disabilities (English), to help people with disabilities plan and prepare for emergencies. The toolkit includes tools and checklists that can be used as a step-by-step guide to making an emergency plan. The toolkit is also available in Spanish.
- Emergency preparedness
- Emergency preparedness and technology
- Emergency preparedness and rehabilitation
About Answered Questions
Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned above is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects, From the NARIC Collection, and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.