Ready, Set…Know: Tips for Emergency Planning

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead.


Ambulance responding to an emergency call blurred background


One look at the skies or a flip of the television remote and there’s no denying that disasters happen to all of us; and when they do, the basic needs for survival are the same for everyone: first aid, food, clean water, batteries, shelter, communication. If you or someone you know has a disability, however, basic needs can also include:

  • survival frog emergency suppliespower for electric-dependent equipment
  • accessible shelter and transportation
  • back up personal care
  • provisions for service animal
  • medication and medical supplies
  • cold storage for medicine that needs refrigeration

While individual needs and circumstances vary, one thing is for sure: it’s not a question of if, but when, an emergency will happen. Take steps today to prepare for tomorrow.

Make a Plan

Emergency Preparedness ChecklistEmergencies and disasters may force you to evacuate or stay in place at work, at home, or out in the community. Create a  plan that identifies how you will receive emergency alerts, accessible shelter, transportation and evacuation route from home/work/school, and how you will communicate. 

Need ideas? Not sure where to start? Watch Leah and her mom use a Star form to identify supports as part of Leah’s goal to create an emergency plan in this Informing Families video on person-centered planning tools. has tips and planning form for kids, parents, commuters, pet owners and more.

Important: If you receive services from the state (such as DDA), talk to your case manager about back-up care options and what you can expect from the agency in an emergency.

Disability-Related Planning and Preparedness Resources

READY: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.
Create a Communications Plan
Preparing for Emergencies Together
Red Cross Guide for Individuals with Disabilities
Washington State Independent Living Council


  • Translate