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NCJ Number: 217751 Find in a Library
Title: Emergency Preparedness and Response for People with Disabilities
Journal: Homeland Defense Journal  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:January 2007  Pages:42-43
Author(s): Linda Dickerhoof
Date Published: January 2007
Page Count: 2
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on Federal actions designed to improve emergency responses for disabled people before, during, and after a disaster.
Abstract: The term "disabled" refers not only to people with obvious handicaps such as blindness, deafness, and paralysis, but also to people with heart disease, emotional or psychiatric conditions, learning disabilities, allergies, and respirator conditions. In July 2004, President Bush signed Executive Order 13347, Individuals With Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness. The order calls for a coordinated effort by Federal departments and agencies that will ensure that the Federal Government addresses the needs of disabled people in disasters. It calls on Federal agencies to support safety and security for individuals with disabilities in all hazardous situations. It encourages the provision of technical assistance that addresses the unique needs of individuals with disabilities and calls for cooperation among all levels of government and private organizations in serving the emergency needs of disabled persons. Service animals--defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act as "any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability"--must also be taken into account in disaster responses to disabled persons. Planning, communications, and actions must be tailored to the specific needs associated with each type of disability. The importance of including special-needs groups in emergency management planning is underscored in the recent appropriations legislation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It mandates the responsibilities of a newly created post of national disability coordinator. This article outlines the coordinator's specified responsibilities.
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Disaster procedures; Emergency communications; Emergency procedures; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Persons with Disabilities; Persons with physical disabilities
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