In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, the Arizona Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCD) sponsored the development of the Emergency Planing Guide for Persons with Developmental Disabilities to help individuals with disabilities, family members, caregivers and providers in the event of an emergency. The devastation and aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy as well as local emergencies in Arizona like the wildfires in Wallow in 2001, Yarnel in 2013, and the Yuma blackout in the summer of 2012, reminds us no one is safe from serious events that can harm us and those we love.
Emergency planning begins with people taking responsibility for their own safety. Recent catastrophic events show that help may not arrive for 72 hours (3 days) or more and that being prepared in the home is the first line of defense in an emergency.
The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planing Council (ADPC) along with partners such as the Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL), Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) saw the need to update emergency planning activities and to focus on self-advocates, family members and caregivers taking personal responsibility for their own safety.
The manual is a step-by-step action guide in being self prepared for an emergency no mater how big or
small it may be. The manual will provide the details on how to prepare an appropriate evacuation plan, what items to include in a “Go Kit”, and what to include in a 72-hour kit if you “shelter in place” i.e. in the home.
Special thanks goes to Ray Moris CEO and Founder of Dads4Special Kids whose guidebook Emergency And
Disaster Preparedness Guidebook: Individuals And Families with Special Needs © 2013 serves as a basis for
this manual. Thanks also goes to California’s Department of Developmental Services for granting
permission to use its Feeling Safe, Being Safe emergency materials in this manual and emergency planning
training associated with this manual.
View these other great resources available on the web:
- American Red Cross
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Homeland Security - Ready.gov
- Maricopa County Emergency Management
- Maricopa County Hazard Mitigation Information
- National Weather Service – Phoenix - latest weather and warning information
- World Health Organization