Atlanta, GA,
15:31 PM

People with Disabilities Need Preparedness Plan for Storms and Other Emergencies

Natural disasters and other public emergencies can leave people stranded for days, cause breaks in communication networks, and make streets and walkways impassable.

Officials advise people, especially those with disabilities, to create a plan to ensure their safety during those critical first days of an emergency. Shepherd Center and Wireless RERC researchers John Morris, Ph.D., and Mike Jones, Ph.D., have created some guidelines for preparing for emergency situations and a checklist for building an emergency kit.

Create an emergency plan for each place where you ordinarily spend your time and practice your plan, Morris said. The National Organization on Disability (NOD) recommends having an emergency plan for home, work, and school. Each plan should include:  your personal network, escape routes, sources and devices for obtaining information, and essential items needed, including medicine and assistive devices.

Public emergencies and disasters are stressful, Jones noted. Homes and other property may be damaged. People may be hurt or in danger. Environmental conditions may make it more difficult to do normal activities like eating, sleeping, breathing and thinking. Medical conditions you have could become worse under these conditions, he added. Recognizing the symptoms of stress in yourself and others around you helps manage stress and its negative effects.

Download more details and the checklist for building an emergency kit by clicking on the PDF link above.

Other Resources

FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination
Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies
Inside the Organization Saving Disabled People During Hurricane Harvey
Ready.Gov: Make a Plan, Build a Kit
Disaster Survivors with Disabilities Hotline, call (800) 626-4959 or contact

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.