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Disaster & Disability

Disaster Preparedness in the faith community includes persons with disabilities.

True disaster readiness requires partnering among persons who are aware of their vulnerabilities in emergency situations.

Persons with disabilities -- whether physical, cognitive, or emotional; whether permanent or temporary -- are among those who are especially vulnerable to disasters if planning and development of support networks has not been completed.

Planning counters the dread of a natural or human-caused emergency by giving persons more control of their welfare. 
Developing a disaster plan is a first step; but developing a disaster plan that includes members of the congregation and community who are especially at risk, unites practical wisdom and life experience.

Use these resources as a guide for developing your church disaster plan jointly with persons of varying abilities.

Develop a Disaster Plan within Your Church:

  • Because your church is faithful to its promises
  • Because your church is an instrument of hope
  • Because your church is a constant and living community resource
  • Because your church calls people by name
  • Because your church values teamwork
  • Because your church empowers persons to choose hope rather than fear

  • Use the following Resource Links to help your Church develop a Disaster Plan:


    An ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness & Response Programs Accessible to People With Disabilities
    - A U.S. Department of Justice guide for local governments, but applicable as well to non-government agencies seeking to meet challenges associated with serving people with disabilites.

    Assessing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Persons with Disabilities - Summary of research on how persons with disabilities prepared for, reacted to, and recovered from the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina in the most affected areas of the Gulf Coast.

    Coping with Disaster Within the Faith Community
    - The National Mental Health Association and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors have developed this fact sheet to assist people of faith and their communities in coping with the emotional and spiritual impact of our nation's tragedy.

    Disability Resource Center - Information from Department of Homeland Security covering topics on emergency preparedness and response for individuals with disabilities, emergency planners, first responders, and service providers.

    Preparation & Prevention - Materials from FEMA to help you prepare and prevent damage as a result of a disaster or emergency.

    Serving Disabled Persons in Disasters - Report on University of Kansas study on capacity of government emergency management agencies to address needs of disabled persons following disasters.

    EPI Guide for Emergency Managers, Planners & Responders - The National Organization on Disability's first Emergency Preparedness Initiative Guide highlights key disability concerns for officials and experts responsible for emergency planning in their communities.

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