Inclusive Disaster Preparedness – Progress Made and Progress to Come

September is National Preparedness Month, and ready.gov has many resources to help you, your family, and your community prepare for those events which can upend our lives – from individual housefires or traffic accidents to large scale weather events or earthquakes. Inclusive disaster preparation considers that people in a community have a wide range of needs and abilities which must be addressed in planning for emergencies. For example: a shelter should be able to accommodate people with different mobility needs, information in emergency alerts should be available in multiple formats and languages. Inclusive disaster preparedness also means that the planning process itself should include representatives from all parts of the community, including people with disabilities.

Early NIDILRR-funded Research in Emergency Management

We turned to the NIDILRR Program Database to find some of the earliest research and development projects focusing on inclusive preparedness, most of which targeted alert and evacuation. These projects included:

Training, Planning, and Integrating

Later projects expanded to training self-advocates, integrating accessibility into safety planning, and accessing emerging technology for emergency communications.

Building a Culture of Inclusion

The latest NIDILRR-funded projects are working to promote inclusion in emergency planning and preparedness and the technology we now rely on in these situations.

The NARIC collection includes more than 120 articles, books, and reports on emergency preparedness from these and other NIDILRR-funded projects. You can also explore the full collection of more than 225 articles indexed under “emergency preparedness” or more than 260 which also discuss types of emergency events from storms to man-made disasters in the NARIC collection (including international research).

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