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Emergency preparedness and disability

Making sure emergency preparedness plans and actions include people with access and functional needs.

The Health and Disability Program (HDP) works with agencies and programs on inclusive emergency preparedness.

We meet regularly and coordinate activities with staff from the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (OPEM) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). We also participate in quarterly meetings of a MEMA-led coalition of disability advocates and agencies.

Our staff members provide training and technical help to local and regional emergency preparedness groups throughout the Commonwealth.

"Go kits"

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) distributes emergency “go kits” to people with disabilities. They also facilitate dialogue between people with disabilities and first responders.

We partnered with MOD and the Home Care Assistance Program to train home care providers to distribute “go kits” to home care consumers.

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OPEM includes individuals with access and functional needs in statewide emergency plans and activities.

They also created Show Me: A Communication Tool for Emergency Shelters. This is a suite of tools designed to enhance communication between individuals with communication challenges and public health and emergency management personnel and volunteers during times of emergencies.

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MEMA incorporates the needs of people with disabilities and care providers in emergency preparedness policies, plans, and exercises throughout Massachusetts.

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