People with Disabilities and Special Needs Disaster Preparedness Resources

Champaign County Emergency Management Agency is committed to assisting all citizens affected during a disaster especially those with disabilities and special needs.

Preparing for and responding to a disaster is a challenge. Preparing for an emergency is even more challenging if you have a disability or an access need.
Before an emergency, preparing a communications plan and having an emergency kit is a good idea.

During an emergency, you can get information from emergency service and other officials and instructions for how to take cover or shelter.

After an emergency, make sure you and those in your home are safe. If you need assistance, call for help and follow instructions and guidance given to you.

Emergency service officials can give you information on shelter, transportation, and other emergency-related information.

There are many tips for individuals with disabilities.

From, here are steps to take:

1. Have an emergency kit
2. Create a support network
3. Collect important information and phone numbers
4. Make backup plans to receive medical treatment
5. Make backup plans to receive in-home care
6. Stay mobile with accessible transportation
7. Plan for possible evacuation
8. Plan for power outages before they happen

You can also sign up for the Premise Alert Program. The Illinois Premise Alert Program is a program to provide first responders (such as police, firefighters, and paramedics) with vital information for people who have unique needs. The Illinois Premise Alert Program provides a way for a 911 call center to accept information about people with disabilities and share that information with police, firefighters and paramedics in an emergency.

To be more prepared during an emergency, you and your care giver can “follow us” on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook to receive information on preparedness and emergency situations. We want you and your care giver to be informed. Our contact information is located under the "Main Menu" tab.


Here are some resources that may assist you and your care giver in preparing for disasters and emergencies:


Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Other Access and Functional Needs

American Sign Language Videos: Together We Prepare


Emergency Preparedness Tips for Those with Access and Functional Needs:


Websites of Interest:

Ready Illinois

Weather Radio for Hearing Impaired

Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Preparedness for Seniors & the Disabled
There is a lot of information toward the bottom of the page with recommendations for various types of storms and weather.

American Red Cross Preparedness for People with Disabilities


Mobile Apps of Interest:

FEMA Mobile App
The FEMA mobile App for phones and tablets contains disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, storable emergency meeting locations, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).

The FEMA mobile App also has a Disaster Reporter feature, allowing you to take and submit GPS photo reports of disasters so they can be displayed on a public map for others to view.

NOAA Mobile App
Want to keep up with the latest severe weather? NOAA Now App provides the latest information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration including: hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific cyclone basins; mainland storms, including the latest tornado and severe thunderstorm alerts; animated satellite views of the United States and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans; the latest marine conditions from the National Data Buoy Center. All data is courtesy of NOAA and NASA.

Show Me: A Communication Tool for Emergency Shelters
The Maryland Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management has created a simple, hands-on tool to reduce communication barriers and better assist individuals with access and functional needs, and professional shelter staff and volunteers, make their needs and concerns understood within a community shelter setting during an emergency.

Tornado App: American Red Cross
Get your family and home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The tornado warning app puts everything you need to know to prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready.

The Autism 5-Point Scale EP

The Autism Help App assists individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities to communicate and regulate in emergency situations. Using the book: The Incredible 5-Point Scale TM by authors Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis, AAPC Publishing, this app helps individuals act, react and interact quickly in emergency situations. With a touch of a screen information is provided and can help facilitate interactions for a “safe” outcome for both the individual and 1st responder.