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People with Special Needs

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Resources for Persons With Special Needs

When a Community Emergency or Natural Disaster (CEND) incident occurs, persons with "special needs" (now referred to by many agencies as persons with "access and functional needs") are also potentially impacted and need to plan and prepare for such incidents as well.  There are some essential and sometimes unique planning arrangements that should be identified and incorporated into the personal emergency plans if a person has special needs.  

Preparations for friends, family and other loved ones with special needs should include arrangements for notification, sheltering-in-place, evacuation, transportation, communication, accountability and how to request assistance and from whom.  Preparations and planning need to take place prior to an incident.  Valuable guidance is available at  It may also be helpful if a person with a particular special need can associate or be affiliated with an established organization that represents and can speak collectively for persons who have the same or similar special need challenges.  These established organizations are valuable community partners who are strongly encouraged to participate in a collective group of local not-for-profit organizations formally known as Heartland Community Organizations Active in Disaster. 

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