Emergencies Happen: Are You Prepared?

From the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)

Ambulance responding to an emergency call blurred background

Preparing yourself and establishing a family plan for emergencies is incredibly important. For those with developmental disabilities that require life-sustaining equipment, it is even more critical to prepare. Having plans in place gives peace of mind and saves lives. Please see the Life Sustaining Equipment and Emergency Preparedness care provider bulletins for more information, including:

  • Who is at risk
  • How to prepare for emergencies
  • ADA National Network checklist
  • Other sources and resources

Emergency planning is for natural disasters and family emergencies. Many with developmental disabilities rely on caregivers to assist with personal-care tasks, meal preparation, mobility, medication management and more.

When the primary caregiver is unable to provide care, it is crucial that a back-up plan be implemented. The written plan identifies the emergency contact person and back-up caregivers. The plan should be developed and stored somewhere easily accessible. The client, family, and case resource manager should be included in the plan development. During the DDA assessment this should be documented in the Emergency Planning section and reviewed annually.

Being prepared, having a plan and staying informed saves lives.


  • Translate