People with disabilities should take the time to review their needs with family, friends, and caregivers before a disaster strikes. Building a support network now is essential to ensure that everyone is prepared for any emergency. It is important to create a plan that meets the needs of those with disabilities and to encourage young people with disabilities to study technology, medicine, science, and engineering in order to gain power over future technological advances in disaster relief and mitigation. Communication technologies can be used to coordinate and track rescues, as well as combine databases that contain information on optimal treatment for certain disabilities or track resource allocation after a disaster. People with disabilities can provide valuable insight into how emergency managers and first responders can best help them during an emergency.
According to recent Harris surveys, more than half of the population of DisABLE have no plans or know who to contact for help in preparing for a disaster. It is essential that people with disabilities are included in preparedness planning for all emergencies. A universal design approach to meeting the needs of people with disabilities before and after a disaster will benefit many people without disabilities, such as young children or the elderly. Whether a person with a disability needs electricity to power a respirator, life-supporting medications, assistance with moving, or recovery services after a disaster, relief organizations and rescue personnel must be prepared to address those needs in the hours and days following a disaster. The media should collaborate with governmental and people with disabilities organizations to incorporate notices into emergency broadcasts in formats accessible to people with disabilities. In addition to including basic survival supplies in an emergency kit, it is important to include items that meet individual needs in various emergencies.
The Idaho Inclusive Emergency Coalition is a coalition of Idaho residents with disabilities who are involved in all stages of emergency and disaster planning at the local, state and national levels. Relief workers must also provide training on how to support the independence and dignity of people with disabilities after a disaster. It is important for people with disabilities to be aware of their rights during an emergency situation. They should know what resources are available to them and how they can access them. Additionally, they should be aware of any laws or regulations that may affect their access to services or accommodations during an emergency.
Finally, they should be aware of any special considerations they may need when preparing for an emergency.