The Health and Disability Program (HDP) is committed to the inclusion of people with access and functional needs in emergency preparedness plans and actions. HDP meets regularly with staff from the DPH Emergency Preparedness Bureau (EPB) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to coordinate activities. HDP also participates in quarterly meetings of a MEMA-led coalition of disability advocates and agencies. HDP staff members provide training and technical assistance to local and regional emergency preparedness groups throughout the Commonwealth.

HDP has worked with the following agencies and programs on inclusive emergency preparedness:

  • The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) disseminates emergency “go kits” to people with disabilities and facilitates dialogue between people with disabilities and first responders. HDP has partnered with MOD and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s Home Care Program to train home care providers to distribute “go kits” to home care consumers.
  • The EPB includes individuals with access and functional needs in statewide emergency plans and activities, and has created Show Me: A Communication Tool for Emergency Shelters.
  • MEMA incorporates the needs of people with disabilities and care providers in emergency preparedness policies, plans and exercises throughout Massachusetts.

Related Links:

  • Department of Justice - An ADA Guide to Emergency Preparedness – Tips for local governments on making community emergency preparedness and response programs accessible to people with disabilities
  • Disability Policy Consortium - Personal Emergency Preparedness Booklet – An emergency plan template for people with access and functional needs and their care providers

This information is provided by the Office of Health Equity within the Department of Public Health