This page provides information on the work the agency is doing to facilitate accessible emergency management.
Accessible Emergency Management
How is FEMA facilitating accessible emergency management?
- Preplanning for evacuations to include accessible transportation for people using wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
- Equipping each Disaster Recovery Center with communication devices that allow people who are blind or have low vision and people who are deaf or hard of hearing or have other communication access needs to receive disaster information first hand.
- Improving our disaster housing strategies and guidance so that people with disabilities have access to general shelters and temporary housing that meet their needs and helping to keep families together during an emergency.
- Providing practical cot and sleeping arrangements for evacuees with disabilities, assisting them with personal care, hygiene and specific dietary needs, and accommodating service animals alongside disaster survivors in the shelter.
- Following a disaster, FEMA’s field Disaster Survivor Assistance Team members personally hand out disaster recovery information that is published in native languages and alternate formats such as Braille and large print
- Registering disaster survivors for federal assistance with mobile devices, enabling Disaster Survivor Assistance Team members to register survivors in the field.
- Including captioning in video products and webinars.
- Prior to a disaster, if there is enough warning, prepositioning disability integration advisors as part of the Incident Management Action Teams.
- Procuring and distributing resources such as medical equipment and supplies to support and coordinate with state, local, tribal, and territorial officials to identify potential needs and address shortfalls in disaster response and recovery.
- Publishing Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters, which provides guidance and tools for local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal governments to integrate children and adults with and without disabilities who have access and functional needs into every aspect of emergency shelter planning and response.
We Prepare Everyday Preparedness Videos
The We Prepare Everyday video targets all communities and shows people with disabilities taking charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies. The video provides equal access and includes open captioning, a certified deaf interpreter, and audio description for viewers who are blind or have low vision.
Visit our resource page to take charge of your own preparedness.
Working Together to Assist Disaster Survivors
FEMA offers training on accessible emergency management that is inclusive of individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. The trainings are intended for emergency managers and first responders at all levels of government and disability-focused service, support, and advocacy organizations and individuals.
E/L0197: Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning
This course will provide Emergency Planners with the information necessary to utilize disability and access and functional needs-inclusive practices, as well as the additional updated skills and knowledge they will need to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. This course is for experienced emergency planners to learn about access and functional needs and Universal Access.
- Define access and functional needs and disabilities.
- Define key terms related to inclusive planning.
- Identify resources to assist in planning with and for adults and children with disabilities and access and functional needs.
- Identify the essentiality of inclusive practices.
- Learn how to incorporate access and functional needs in all phases of emergency management.
For upcoming offerings, search course schedule with the following link: https://training.fema.gov/emicourses/schedules.aspx.
IS-368: Including People With Disabilities and Others With Access and Functional Needs in Disaster Operations
The purpose of this independent study course is to increase awareness and understanding of the need for full inclusion of disaster survivors and FEMA staff who are people with disabilities, and people with access and functional needs. The course provides an overview of disabilities and access and functional needs and explains how disaster staff can apply inclusive practices in their disaster assignments.
- Explain the importance of including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations at the JFO and field locations.
- Describe how JFO and field staff can support and include people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations.
- Describe principles and FEMA initiatives that provide a foundation for the integration of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in disaster operations.
- Describe the history of the treatment of and services for people with disabilities.
- Identify laws that provide the legal foundation for issues related to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
- Describe the function of the Disability Integration Advisor.
- Describe personal actions to support the integration of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs in the JFO and field disaster operations.
- Be Prepared for Emergencies
Blog by Marcie Roth, FEMA Director, Office of Disability Integration and Coordination
- Disaster Preparedness blog for Love That Max
Blog by Marcie Roth, FEMA Director Office of Disability Integration and Coordination
- Let’s Inclusively Plan: Some Stories, Mistakes and Advice
By Justin Sorg, Emergency Services Planner at the Mid-America Regional Council
FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination
Learn more about the office and their role in emergency management.