Emergency Preparedness


picture of hurricane, fire, electrical storm, and flood

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin


Emergency Preparedness – How prepared are you really?

Preparing for an emergency such as a hurricane, fire, thunderstorm, flood, or other natural disaster is not something most of us like to think about.  We like even less to think about preparing for a terrorist attack.

Despite this, the fact remains that the more prepared we are the more likely we are to survive such an emergency.  Even if it is not a life or death matter and the emergency is short in duration, a little planning and having some basic things on hand will make us much more comfortable.

The following resources are intended to assist persons with disabilities, their caregivers, and loved ones in planning for an emergency or disaster.  These resources are also intended to familiarize caregivers or members of a support group with some of the challenges facing their friends, family, and loved ones with a disability.

This information is not limited to people with physical or cognitive conditions specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  For example, people with even mild vision, hearing, or mobility impairments should find it helpful.

Quick Links

En Espanol     More Emergency Preparedness Links

There are three basic steps to planning for an emergency: 

  1. Be Informed,
  2. Make a Plan, and
  3. Make an Emergency Supply Kit.

These steps are outlined below with links for you to complete each step.


What to do before, during, and after an emergency.

  • Before Educate yourself as to how to prepare for disasters likely to happen in your area.  In Arizona, an emergency could involve such natural things as:  a fire; wild fire; flood; earthquake; extreme heat or cold; snow; thunderstorm; or dust storm.  A disaster could also involve a nuclear power plant or a terrorist incident.  Your preparation for each potential emergency type may be different or may involve having different items in your emergency kit.
  • During How will you know that a natural disaster or other emergency will or has affected the area in which you live?  Often we receive such news on the TV or radio, but what if the power has gone out?  Do you have a battery or solar operated radio to receive such weather or news story?  How will you communicate with loved ones?
  • After How will you communicate with loved ones to find out if they are safe or to let them know that you are safe?  Register on the Red Cross Safe and Well List – If you have been affected by a disaster, you can use this page to post “safe and well messages” that your loved ones can view.

Check out the links below for information on staying informed.

The Arizona Emergency Information Network (AzEIN)
Extreme Heat
Emergency Warnings for People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR)


Each person’s needs and abilities are unique, but every individual can take important steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies and put plans in place.  By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan, you can be better prepared for any situation.

A commitment to planning today will help you prepare for any emergency situation.  Each of the following links will assist you in making an emergency plan.

Be Red Cross Ready Pamphlet
Disaster Readiness Tips for People with Disabilities Pamphlet
Flood Preparedness Guide
Get Ready Now Pamphlet
Just In Case Arizona
Monsoon Storm Safety
Ready.gov Website

Planning for Your Pets

Whether you have a service animal or family pets, your emergency preparations should include them too.  Just like you, your pets will need food, water, shelter, and medications.  Also, like you during an emergency, they may experience many emotions – anxiety, worry, and fear.  The links below will help you prepare for your four-legged friends.

FEMA-Caring for Animals
National Hurricane Center – Pet Plan


A disaster supply kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency.  You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you.  You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or to shop for them.  The links below will help you assemble a kit.

Just In Case Arizona

Specific Functional Need Focus

Cognitive Disabilities

Deaf / Hard of Hearing

Making an Emergency Kit – format for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf / Blind People
NOAA Weather Radio for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons

Physical Disabilities

Visual Disabilities

Emergency Preparedness and People who are Blind and Visually Impaired

More Emergency Preparedness Links

Are You Red Cross Ready? in American Sign Language
Coping with Disasters
Disability.Gov – Emergency Preparedness Resources
FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC)
Just In Case Arizona
Make A Disaster Supplies Kit
NASUAD Disaster Preparedness Guide
Red Cross – Prerparing for Disaster for People with Special Needs

En Espanol

Paso 1: Estar Informado

La Radio del Tiempo de la NOAA (NWR)

Paso 2:  Haga Un Plan

Haga un plan
Mantengase informado
Por si acaso Arizona

Preparación por Catástrofes para los Animales


Paso 3: Hacer un botiquín de emergencia

Prepare un equipo
Preocuparse por las Personas con Necesidades Básicas

Otros enlaces de emergencia

Cómo sobreponerse a un desastre o suceso traumático
Recursos para la atención sicológica en caso de desastres y sucesos traumáticos